French Open Finalist Elena Dementieva, 10 Others Added To Main Draw; Four Of Top 10, Eight of Top 15 Now Committed; Three Wild Cards Still To Be Awarded
NEW HAVEN, Conn., July 12, 2004 – French Open finalist and World No. 8 Elena Dementieva of Russia, the up-and-comer who upset Venus and went on to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals Karolina Sprem of Croatia, and the top-rated player from Italy, Francesca Schiavone (No. 17) are among the players added to the main draw for Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA, a US Open Series event. The field for the event, held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, now includes four of the world’s top 10 and eight of the top 15-ranked players.
Also among the new entries are Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi of Israel (No. 18), Elena Bovina (No. 22) and Dinara Safina (No. 32) of Russia, Alicia Molik (No. 28) of Australia, American Meghann Shaughnessy (No. 29), Nathalie Dechy (No. 31) and Sandrine Testud (special ranking of 11 after maternity leave) of France and Maria Vento-Kabchi (No. 33) of Venezuela. They have all earned direct entry into the main draw, based on their respective rankings as of July 5. The tournament retains three main draw wild cards, which will be awarded by August 19.
The “cut-off” ranking for the 19 direct entries in the main draw is a highly competitive No. 33 (Kabchi’s ranking as of July 5), meaning that the player ranked No. 35 on that date (Emilie Loit) was unable to earn a spot in the main draw and currently must qualify to enter (No. 34 Eleni Daniilidou did not enter). The 19 main draw entries hail from 12 different countries, including six players from Russia and two each from the USA and France.
Top stars who have previously committed to the event include No. 2 Kim Clijsters of Belgium; Wimbledon semifinalist and No. 5 Lindsay Davenport of the USA; Wimbledon Champion and No. 8 Maria Sharapova, Wimbledon Round 16 and No. 12 Nadia Petrova and Wimbledon Round of 16 and No. 13 Vera Zvonareva of Russia; Wimbledon quarterfinalist and No. 11 Paula Suarez of Argentina; No. 21 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria and No. 26 Jelena Dokic of Serbia.
The qualifying draw will be released shortly.
“After honoring her long time commitment to come to New Haven to conduct a kids clinic on the heels of her stunning victory at Wimbledon last week, clearly Maria Sharapova is the story of this year’s Pilot Pen.” said Anne Worcester, tournament director. “However, there are many other top-of-the-line tennis stars in Kim Clijsters and Lindsay Davenport, the deep Russian contingent as well as and many well-known veteran ‘Pilot Pen’ players like Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, Jelena Dokic and Meghann Shaughnessy. We’re gearing up for nine days of tennis of high level tennis on the court and a multitude of entertainment events off the court.”
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 US Open Series event, will be held August 20-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. Four of the world’s top 10 and seven of the top-15-ranked players, including Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, have already committed to the tournament. A total of 14 hours of Pilot Pen Tennis action will be 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.
2004 PLAYER ENTRY LIST (entry based on rankings of July 5)
Main Draw-28 (rankings 7/5, current)
1. Kim Clijsters BEL (2) (2)
2. Lindsay Davenport USA (5) (5)
3. Elena Dementieva RUS (6) (6)
4. Maria Sharapova RUS (8) (8)
5. Paola Suarez ARG (11) (11)
6. Sandrine Testud FRA (11*) (310)
7. Nadia Petrova RUS (12) (12)
8. Vera Zvonareva RUS (13) (13)
9. Francesca Schiavone ITA (17) (17)
10. Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi ISR (18)(18)
11. Karolina Sprem CRO (20) (20)
12. Magdalena Maleeva BUL (21) (21)
13. Elena Bovina RUS (22) (22)
14. Jelena Dokic YUG (26) (26)
15. Alicia Molik AUS (28) (28)
16. Meghann Shaughnessy USA (29)(29)
17. Nathalie Dechy FRA (23) (23)
18. Dinara Safina RUS (32) (32)
19. Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN (33) (33)
(plus 3 wild cards TBD)
(plus 6 qualifiers)
*Special ranking of 11; actual ranking 310