Catch a Rising Star: Up-and-Comers Garner Pilot Pen Qualifying Spots and Wild Cards

August 18, 2004 09:15 PM

Stevenson, Haynes, Jackson, Liu Among 13 American Entries

Smashnova-Pistolesi Withdraws, Capriati Secures Spot; Three Wild Cards Remain

NEW HAVEN, Conn., August 18, 2004 – The qualifying draw for Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA, a US Open Series Event, is nearly set with the awarding of four wild cards into the 48-player event beginning Friday which feeds six players into the tournament’s 28-player main draw. The 2004 Pilot Pen, which features seven of the world’s top 15 players, continues through August 28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.

The tournament also announced the withdrawal of Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi of Israel due to right hamstring tendonitis. Jennifer Capriati, who announced her entry last week, replaces her in the main draw. The tournament retains three main draw wild cards, which will be awarded on Thursday.

The Pilot Pen qualifying draw, with 13 Americans among the field which includes 25 in the top 100, is one of the most competitive on the WTA Tour. Gaining entry via wild card are Americans Angela Haynes, Amber Liu and Jamea Jackson, as well as Shahar Peer of Israel. Two additional qualifying wild card spots will be announced on Thursday.

Several other Americans have also moved into the qualifying draw by their ranking. Fan favorite Alexandra Stevenson as well as Meilen Tu, Kelly McCain and Jennifer Hopkins are among the new entries.

“Qualifying at the Pilot Pen is a wonderful opportunity for fans to come out and see more than a dozen young up-and-coming American players battle it out with the world’s best to earn six coveted spots in the main draw,” said Anne Worcester, tournament director. “They can see well-known players like Ashley Harkleroad, Alexandra Stevenson and Magui Serna, or maybe the next Justine Henin-Hardenne or Anastasia Myskina, both of whom have advanced through qualifying in past Pilot Pens and then risen to the top of the tennis world.”

Haynes, 19, is currently ranked at No. 188 on the WTA Tour. She will be making her second trip to New Haven, where she fell in the first round of qualifying last year in only her fourth Tour event. Earlier this year, she won three qualifying matches to earn entry into the main draw at Memphis.

Liu, 20, just finished her sophomore year at Stanford. She has won the NCAA singles title the past two years, and is now ranked at No. 622. She won her first career WTA Tour main draw match at Stanford in 2003, outlasting American Tara Snyder. Liu also received a wild card to the qualifying draw at last year’s Pilot Pen, dropping a three-set match to Maja Matevzic in the first round.

Jackson, 17, is currently ranked at No. 193. She has competed in four WTA Tour events this year, winning her first-round matches at Miami in March and Birmingham in June. She also reached the main draw at Stamford last month, winning her two qualifying matches before falling in the first round in a third-set tiebreak to Smashnova-Pistolesi.

Peer, 17, made her Tour debut a memorable one at Hyderabad, India, in February, winning three qualifying matches and her first-round main draw match before losing to Tamarine Tanasugarn. Her Juniors achievements this year include the singles championship at the Australian Open and quarterfinal finishes at Wimbledon and Roland Garros. She is ranked at No. 242.

In all, 21 Olympians will compete at the Pilot Pen, including 11 in the qualifying draw.

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 (, 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 Jennifer Capriati, Lindsay Davenport, Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva, have committed to the tournament. A total of 15 ½ 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.

(entry based on rankings of July 5)

Main Draw-28 (rankings 7/5, current)
1. Lindsay Davenport USA (5) (4)
2. *Elena Dementieva RUS (6) (6)
3. Jennifer Capriati USA (7) (7)
4. Maria Sharapova RUS (8) (8)
5. *Ai Sugiyama JPN (10) (13)
6. *Nadia Petrova RUS (12) (14)
7. *Paola Suarez ARG (11) (15)
8. *Karolina Sprem CRO (20) (18)
9. *Magdalena Maleeva BUL (21) (21)
10. *Alicia Molik AUS (28) (23)
11. Elena Bovina RUS (22) (25)
12. *Nathalie Dechy FRA (31) (29)
13. Tatiana Golovin FRA (40) (30)
14. Meghann Shaughnessy USA (29)(32)
15. Jelena Dokic YUG (26) (34)
16. *Daniela Hantuchova (36) (36)
17. *Jelena Kostanic CRO (38) (39)
18. Dinara Safina RUS (32) (41)
19. *Tina Pisnik SLO (46) (46)

(Plus 3 wild cards TBD)
(Plus 6 qualifiers)

Qual. Draw-48 (rankings 7/5, current)
1. Flavia Pennetta ITA (81) (45)
2. *Tamarine Tanasugarn THA(51) (48)
3. *Claudine Schaul LUX (44) (50)
4. *Denisa Chladkova CZE (62) (54)
5. Marion Bartoli FRA (66) (56)
6. Marta Marrero ESP (64) (63)
7. *Magui Serna ESP (50) (65)
8. *Maria Elena Camerin ITA (69) (67)
9. *Akiko Morigami JPN (70) (68)
10. *Marlene Weingartner GER (73) (73)
11. *Tatiana Perebiynis UKR (88) (75)
12. Mara Santangelo ITA (82) (79)
13. Marissa Irvin USA (98) (82)
14. Mashona Washington USA (101) (83)
15. Henrieta Nagyova SVK (85) (84)
16. Sandra Kleinova CZE (102) (85)
17. Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER (93)(86)
18. Rita Grande ITA (87) (87)
19. Lindsay Lee-Waters USA (96) (89)
20. Shenay Perry USA (84) (91)
21. Ashley Harkleroad USA (109) (92)
22. Samantha Stosur AUS (90) (95)
23. *Roberta Vinci ITA (105) (97)
24. Nuria Llagostera Vives ESP (110) (99)
25. Yuliana Fedak UKR (114) (100)
26. Virginie Razzano FRA (83) (103)
27. Julia Vakulenko UKR (103) (104)
28. Maria Kirilenko RUS (86) (105)
29. Els Callens BEL (104) (106)
30. Teryn Ashley USA (95) (107)
31. Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA (105)(111)
32. Silvija Talaja CRO (99) (112)
33. *Cara Black ZIM (107) (116)
34. Mervana Jugic-Salkic BIH (113) (119)
35. Stephanie Foretz FRA (115) (115)
36. Antonella Serra Zanetti ITA (117)(120)
37. Jennifer Hopkins USA (120) (117)
38. Lioudmila Skavronskaia RUS (127)(128)
39. Kelly McCain USA (130) (135)
40. Alexandra Stevenson USA (139) (142)
41. Galina Voskoboeva RUS (142) (145)
42. Meilen Tu USA (143) (156)
43. #Angela Haynes USA (--) (188)
44. #Jamea Jackson USA (--) (193)
45. #Shahar Peer ISR (--) (242)
46. #Amber Liu USA (--) (622)

(plus two Wild Cards TBD)
#Qualifying Wild Cards