Three-Time Grand Slam Champion Kuerten Joins Elite Field at Pilot Pen

July 15, 2005 10:12 AM

World No. 7 Nikolay Davydenko to Compete; Mardy Fish and Vince Spadea Headline American Entries at Final US Open Series Event

Gustavo Kuerten will be among the many current and futures stars competing in New Haven© PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images
New Haven, Conn. -- Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA today announced the men's full field for this year's inaugural combined men's and women's event set for Aug. 19-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University in New Haven. A US Open Series event and part of the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tours, the tournament represents the depth of the ATP circuit today with a well-rounded field of current and rising stars.

Former world no. 1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Gustavo "Guga" Kuerten, who has been guaranteed a wild card, headlines a talented pool of players having breakout 2005 seasons, including Nikolay Davydenko, who has catapulted from No. 28 to No. 7 in the world, and 19-year-old rising star Richard Gasquet (No. 17), winner of three tournaments in 2005 and one of only three players to defeat No. 1 Roger Federer this year. Other entries include Greg Rusedski, winner at Newport last week, Paradorn Srichaphan, two-time champion of the TD Waterhouse Cup, and early entry Tommy Haas (No. 23), named 2004 "ATP Comeback Player of the Year."

With early entries from Taylor Dent (No. 31) and Connecticut native James Blake, who has also been guaranteed a wild card, there is no shortage of Americans, as 2004 Athens Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish and Vincent Spadea are direct entries into the main draw. Justin Gimelstob, Robby Ginepri and Paul Goldstein are entered and on the alternate list.

The Pilot Pen Tennis tournament will again showcase established players and fan favorites alongside an exciting crop of up-and-coming superstars. In addition to Richard Gasquet, the tradition continues with the entries of Andrew Murray of Great Britain and Gael Monfils of France, both of whom are on the Pilot Pen alternate list. Murray, a native of Scotland and the 2004 US Open junior champion, had all of Britain behind him at this year's Wimbledon Championships, when he upset the 14th seed, Radek Stepanek, and made it to the fourth round, losing in five dramatic sets in his Centre Court debut. Monfils, the No. 1 junior in the world in 2004, reached the third round at this year's Wimbledon in his first year in the men's field.

There is also a strong contingency of Spanish and Latin American players entered into the Pilot Pen. Roland Garros quarterfinalists Tommy Robredo (No. 16) and David Ferrer (No. 20), both from Spain, join Wimbledon quarterfinalist and countryman Feliciano Lopez (No. 24), and Chile's reigning Olympic champions Fernando Gonzalez and Nicolas Massu round out the highly competitive field.

The "cut off" for the direct entries into the men's main draw is an impressive 65 (Phillip Kohlschrieber's ranking as of July 11). Players ranked lower, such as Gael Monfils (No. 66) will move into the main draw should there be any withdrawals or must qualify to enter the main draw. All alternate players are also eligible for the two remaining wild card spots, which must be named by the Aug. 19 deadline.

"The depth of men's tennis in recent years is very impressive," said Anne Worcester, tournament director. "What was already a big event featuring world-class women's tennis is now bigger and better with the addition of the men. With such a highly competitive men's full field, we're looking forward to some fantastic men's tennis throughout the Pilot Pen"

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About Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Michelob ULTRA

The 2005 Pilot Pen presented by Michelob ULTRA (, a US Open Series event, will be held August 19-28 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale. The Pilot Pen is the first combined men's and women's summer tournament leading into the US Open. Some of the biggest names in men's and women's tennis have committed to play the 2005 Pilot Pen such as ATP Tour players James Blake, Taylor Dent, Fernando Gonzalez and Nicholas Massu and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players Amelie Mauresmo, Elena Dementieva, Nadia Petrova and defending champion Elena Bovina. A minimum of 19 1/2 hours of the 2005 Pilot Pen will be televised nationally on ESPN2 and CBS Sports. For information on tickets, travel packages, sponsorships or on how to become a volunteer at the 2005 Pilot Pen, call the Pilot Pen Tennis office at (203)776-7331 or (888) 99- PILOT.


About the US Open Series

The US Open Series is the cohesive, six-week summer tennis season of 10 major North American tournaments linked to the US Open. The US Open Series launched in 2004, and resulted in record attendance, TV viewership and live broadcast hours for the sport. Television viewership was up over 50%, with regularly scheduled broadcasts on ESPN, CBS, NBC Sports, and The Tennis Channel. In total, the US Open Series events - - including the US Open - - generated a record 1.5 million attendees, 126 million TV viewers and over 15 million website visits, making it the strongest summertime property in sports. Lindsay Davenport and Lleyton Hewitt won the inaugural US Open Series.