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Andrew..
May 4th, 2006, 02:50 AM
Pilot Pen adds six names to women's field
CHRIS CASAVANT ccasavant@ctpost.com

To say that the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament is considerably ahead of where it was one year ago in terms of preparation would only be scratching the surface.
It was about the middle of May last year when the Pilot Pen officially added a men's tournament to its existing women's event, making it one of the few combined events in professional tennis. From that point forward, it was a mad scramble to get everything in place by mid-August, when the tournament began.

This year, however, ticket sales are up, defending men's champion James Blake, now ranked a career-high No. 7, has already committed, and Tuesday six women's players were officially added to the field.

Defending champion Lindsay Davenport and top-ranked Amelie Mauresmo, both New Haven regulars, head the list of six top-20 players who are expected to play at the Pilot Pen, which will be held Aug. 18-26 at the Connecticut Tennis Center on the Yale campus.

"I was surprised," tournament director Anne Worcester said. "This is definitely the best list of early entries we have ever had, both in terms of quantity and quality."

The group of six also includes No. 9 Elena Dementieva, No. 12 Anastasia Myskina, No. 16 Daniela Hantuchova and No. 17 Elena Likhovtseva, all of whom have played in New Haven before. For Myskina, it's been a few years, though she did receive a wild card last year that she couldn't use because of a last-minute injury.

"She called me (last August) and said, 'If you need me for anything, I appreciate that you offered me this wild card and I feel terrible I can't take it,'" Worcester said. "When I saw her in Miami (in March) she was very optimistic about playing. Players don't forget wild cards."

Worcester said four-time champion Venus Williams has expressed an interest in playing the Pilot Pen again this year, though she has yet to commit, and her words must be taken with a grain of salt considering how rarely she plays at all these days.

Worcester is also interested in adding some rising young players, including Russia's Maria Kirilenko and India's Sania Mirza. As for other top players, including this year's big story, Martina Hingis, Worcester said they likely wouldn't commit until as late as the days leading up to the tournament.

But the early commitments give Worcester and her staff a head start.

"Having a full year to promote this new, combined event has made all the difference in the world," she said. "Week-long box seats sales are particularly strong. Boxholders who canceled their boxes after the men's tournament left (in 1998) have come back. And sponsorships are very strong." Pilot Pen commitments

Women

Ranking, player

1. Amelie Mauresmo

7. Lindsay Davenport-x

9. Elena Dementieva

12. Anastasia Myskina

16. Daniela Hantuchova

17. Elena Likhovtseva

Men

7. James Blake-x

x-defending champions

DutchieGirl
May 4th, 2006, 03:05 AM
Hmm interesting... Misa has this down on her schedule to paly... wonder if she'll still sign up...

Martian Stacey
May 4th, 2006, 03:13 AM
Sounds like this could be a really good tournament :)

DutchieGirl
May 4th, 2006, 03:16 AM
Could be! ;)

-VSR-
May 4th, 2006, 03:36 AM
I wish Venus would play here. She has won it 4 times, and always does well at the U.S. Open after! ;)

Lindsayfan32
May 4th, 2006, 03:54 AM
I read this yesterday. so much for Lindsay not playing the week before a slam anymore. She's only not played the week before once in the last five slam since she announced it.

CrossCourt~Rally
May 4th, 2006, 03:55 AM
Thanks for the info. I hope Amy plays this for once :p

MH0861
May 4th, 2006, 04:23 AM
I read this yesterday. so much for Lindsay not playing the week before a slam anymore. She's only not played the week before once in the last five slam since she announced it.

AO 06 - Didn't play the week before
US 05 - Played New Haven because she'd been out since Wimbledon with injury
Wimbledon 05 - Didn't play before
FO 05 - Didn't play any red clay warmups
AO 05 - Withdrew from Sydney after playing one match

She's playing the week before RG (at Istanbul), because she hasn't played since Indian Wells. I think she had to play the week before at New Haven/Istanbul, and maybe she just wants to defend her title at New Haven this year?

NyCPsU
May 4th, 2006, 04:33 AM
ill be there!!!! this is awesome news!!! DANIELA, LINDSAY, NASTYA, LENA D!!! ahhhh so excited!

ctan88
May 4th, 2006, 08:35 AM
This should be a very exciting tourney ... now we just need Hingis!

Munchen
May 4th, 2006, 09:27 AM
Lindsay :yeah:

PLP
May 4th, 2006, 10:03 AM
This should be a very exciting tourney ... now we just need Hingis!
Martina played a good amount of tournis early in the season to get some matches under her belt...She said she wasn't going to play more than 20 this year (Which is good!) So depending on her schedule...I think she will play 3 at the most before NY on the hardcourts and that might be pushing it, but in anycase it looks like a great field already!

mike/topgun
May 4th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Well, we'll see;)

esquímaux
May 5th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Linzi :yeah: Momo :drool:

GrandSlam05
May 5th, 2006, 04:37 PM
Oh goody. I loved that tourney last year. When Chakvetadze got all cocky at 3-3 in the second and Lindsay was like "sorry bitch" and made her cry with those punishing groundstrokes. Wasn't that also the match where someone shouted "I love you Lindsay!" ?
The final was pretty str8forward, but those forehand passing shots on the run :drool:

jonny84
May 5th, 2006, 04:51 PM
:yeah:

lauramariana
May 5th, 2006, 05:03 PM
:worship: Amelie :worship:

LDF
May 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Oh goody. I loved that tourney last year. When Chakvetadze got all cocky at 3-3 in the second and Lindsay was like "sorry bitch" and made her cry with those punishing groundstrokes. Wasn't that also the match where someone shouted "I love you Lindsay!" ?


It was indeed :lol:

tennisboi
May 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Lindsay:bounce:

RAA
May 5th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Pilot Pen adds six names to women's field
CHRIS CASAVANT ccasavant@ctpost.com


Worcester said four-time champion Venus Williams has expressed an interest in playing the Pilot Pen again this year, though she has yet to commit, and her words must be taken with a grain of salt considering how rarely she plays at all these days.




charming.:ras: :shrug:

griffin
May 5th, 2006, 07:03 PM
Yeah, I'm sure that'll get her busting down the door...

The Daviator
May 5th, 2006, 07:46 PM
Oh goody. I loved that tourney last year. When Chakvetadze got all cocky at 3-3 in the second and Lindsay was like "sorry bitch" and made her cry with those punishing groundstrokes. Wasn't that also the match where someone shouted "I love you Lindsay!" ?
The final was pretty str8forward, but those forehand passing shots on the run :drool:

:lol:

That was such an easy tournament for Lindsay, and it was great that she won it because it meant she had the clean sweep of US summer hard-court titles :bounce:

Defend your title Linds :yeah:

UDACHi
May 5th, 2006, 07:53 PM
I went for the QFs last year and I'll do it again this year. :D

No Name Face
May 5th, 2006, 08:27 PM
i'm gonna try and make this.

bis2806
May 5th, 2006, 11:07 PM
I am going to try and go there as well!