Belgian Star Joins No. 19 Sharapova In Field
|Kim Clijsters of Belgium hits a forehand against Marlene Weingartner of Germany during day two of the Australian Open Grand Slam at Melbourne Park January 20, 2004 in Melbourne, Australia© Nick Laham/Getty Images|
NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 12, 2004 – Kim Clijsters, who has already won 21 WTA Tour titles including the past two season-ending WTA Tour Championships, will return to New Haven at the 2004 Pilot Pen presented by Michelob ULTRA, A USTA Event, the tournament announced today. The 20-year-old Belgian, currently ranked No. 2 on Tour, becomes the second player to commit to the event, set for August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Maria Sharapova, now ranked No. 19, entered the field in February.
Clijsters competed in New Haven in 2000 and 2001. Unseeded, she advanced to the quarterfinals in 2000, beating No. 7 seed Barbara Schett before falling to third-seed Nathalie Tauziat. In 2001, as the world No. 5, she reached the Pilot Pen semifinals by beating Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, then turned the tables on Tauziat before being forced to withdraw from the tournament with an injury.
Since then, Clijsters’ career has reached even greater heights, as she has advanced to four Grand Slam finals. She achieved the No. 1 ranking for 12 weeks during the 2003 season, when she won nine tournaments and reached the semifinals or better in 20 of 21 events she played. This year, Clijsters started the season with a bang, winning 15 of her 16 matches in taking titles at Paris and Antwerp. She withdrew from Indian Wells in March with a wrist injury after winning her second-round match there, and did not compete in Miami.
“I really enjoyed my time at the Pilot Pen two years ago,” said Clijsters, ”and I’m especially looking forward to returning to New Haven and visiting the great restaurants there.”
“Since Kim last played the Pilot Pen, she has risen to the uppermost echelon of the international tennis scene,” said Anne Worcester, Pilot Pen Tennis tournament director. ”Her exciting style of play and bubbly personality have made her very popular around the world and we know Connecticut fans will be delighted to see her play live.”
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. In 2003, five of the world’s top-10 and 16 of the top-25-ranked players competed, including former world #1 players Jennifer Capriati and Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo, Daniela Hantuchova and Anastasia Myskina. 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.