Tennis Forum banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

44,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pilot Pen Begins With Wide Open Field

By Andre Christopher

Pilot Pen Tennis, the final women’s tournament before the U.S. Open, is in select company among WTA Tour events. Neither of the Williams sisters, nor Belgians Kim Clijsters and Justin Henin-Hardenne are in the 28-draw, $625,000 Tier II event.

Only two other tournaments Tier II or higher share that distinction this year: the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo the week after the Australian Open and the Hastings Direct International Championships in Eastbourne, England, the week before Wimbledon. The absence of those four players – the Williamses recuperating from injury; the Belgians taking a week off – leaves the Pilot Pen with a wide open field.

But to Israel’s Anna Pistolesi, who entered the tournament on a 10-match winning streak, collecting clay court titles in Sopot and Helsinki, this is just another tough week on the WTA Tour.

”Any event, anyone can win,” said Pistolesi, who upset No. 5 seed Anastasia Myskina, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-4, in the only main draw match completed Sunday at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. “Look at Toronto, with (Lina) Krasnoroutskaya in the final. It’s tennis. Anything can happen.” (Krasnoroutskaya lost in the Toronto final to Henin-Hardenne, 6-1, 6-0.)

Interestingly, Pistolesi was a quarterfinalist in the last tournament that did not have Venus and Serena Williams, Clijsters and Henin-Hardenne: Eastbourne. Just as coincidental, Myskina, the top-ranked of the five Russian women in the Top 25, was upset in the first round at Eastbourne, where she was also the No. 5 seed, losing to Amanda Coetzer.

The Pilot Pen still has among its marquee players – even without four-time defending champion and fifth-ranked Venus Williams, as well as the top three players in Clijsters, Serena Williams and Henin-Hardenne – fourth-ranked and No. 1 seed Lindsay Davenport, who won this event in 1997 when it was played in Atlanta before moving to its current home in New Haven, Conn.; sixth-ranked Amelie Mauresmo, the No. 2 seed; and Jennifer Capriati, ranked No. 7 and seeded No. 3.

Davenport’s only title this year came in Tokyo the week after the Australian Open. Since then, she has lost finals at Indian Wells (to Clijsters), Amelia Island (to Elena Dementieva) and, two weeks ago, Los Angeles (to Clijsters). (Davenport also lost the Sydney final to Clijsters the week before the Australian Open.)

Mauresmo’s only title of 2003 was on clay at Warsaw, where Venus Williams retired in the third set of the final because of an abdominal strain, the same strain that has kept her out of action since Wimbledon. In two other finals this year, Mauresmo has lost to Serena Williams (at Paris-indoors) and Clijsters (at Rome).

Capriati, without a title since winning the 2002 Australian Open, has lost two finals this year. She lost to Serena Williams in the final of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami and to Clijsters in the final of the Bank of the West Classic four weeks ago in Stanford, Calif.
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.