Rising Star Sharapova Commits Early to Pilot Pen Tennis Player Field

April 19, 2004 02:19 PM

Popular Teen To Make First Appearance In New Haven

Maria Sharapova© Getty Images
NEW HAVEN, Conn., March 3, 2004 – Maria Sharapova, the young Russian star who has already won two WTA Tour events on her way to a No. 24 ranking, today became the first player to commit to the 2004 Pilot Pen presented by Michelob ULTRA, A USTA Event, set for August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.

Sharapova, 16, will be making her first appearance at the Pilot Pen. She has been profiled in such publications as W magazine and USA Today and was named one of the “coolest girls in America” by YM magazine last year.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Pilot Pen and New Haven from the other players,” said Sharapova, “so I’m really excited to play there for the first time this August.”

“We’re delighted that Maria is our first entry into the 2004 Pilot Pen,” said Anne Worcester, Pilot Pen Tennis tournament director. ”Her rapid rise in the rankings has garnered significant media attention and she is definitely the ‘player to watch’ on the WTA Tour this year.”

Sharapova made a splash last year at Wimbledon, reaching the fourth round in her first main draw appearance there. She improved by 154 spots in the WTA Tour rankings last year, finishing at No. 32 following singles titles at Japan and Quebec City late in the campaign. She was also featured as “On the Move” by People Magazine in its September 1, 2003, issue; in 2002 she appeared on Teen People’s list of 20 teens who will change the world.

Sharapova has had a strong start to 2004, reaching the third round at the Australian Open and the semifinals in Memphis en route to a career-best ranking of No. 22 last month. She and partner Vera Zvonareva of Russia also reached the doubles final at Memphis.

About Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA
“New England’s Premier Women’s Sports Entertainment Event of the Year.” The 2004 Pilot Pen presented by Michelob ULTRA (www.pilotpentennis.com), A USTA Event, will be held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Five of the world’s top-10 and 16 of the top-25-ranked players, including former world #1 players Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo, Daniela Hantuchova and Anastasia Myskina, competed at the 2003 event. A total of 13.5 hours of 2003 Pilot Pen Tennis action were televised nationally on ESPN, ESPN2 and CBS Sports. For information on tickets, travel packages, sponsorships or on how to become a volunteer at the 2004 Pilot Pen, call the Pilot Pen Tennis office at 203/776-7331 or 888/99-PILOT.