Blogs > Pilot Pen 2009

The latest on the 2009 Pilot Pen tournament with tennis writer Jim Fuller and other New Haven Register contributors.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ivanovic passing on New Haven

Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic will not be requesting a wild card despite losing Wednesday in Toronto. The tournament is still waiting to hear one way or the other from Dinara Safina and Vera Zvonareva. If the two Russians both decline, the Pilot Pen will lose its fourth wild card because it has to go to a player who ended the 2008 season ranked in the top 10. Safina lost early in Toronto while Zvonareva doesn't play until 7:30 p.m. so she would have to request a wild card before taking the court against Maria Sharapova.

No. 12 Nadia Petrova appears to be in line to receive the third wild card. No. 6 Svetlana Kuznetsova and former top 15 player Meghann Shaughnessy were given wild cards on Wednesday.

On the men's side, Albert Montanes withdrew and he will be replaced in the main draw by Andrey Golubev. Julian Benneteau will also move into the main draw. Benneteau is now first on the alternate list and will move in with another withdrawal (Kristof Vliegen is the most likely candidate to withdraw since he posted on his official site that he would not be able to play in New Haven). Even without a withdrawal, Benneteau would get into the main draw through the two special exemption spots. A special exemption can be given to a player who reached the semifinals in one tournament while being entered in the main draw of the next event. Since it is impossible for a player to play in both tournaments at the same time, the ATP will award them a spot as a special exemption. Benneteau and Chris Guccione are the only ones who fall under the criteria to receive a special exemption so no matter what happens, Benneteau would be in the New Haven draw.

American Robert Kendrick, who made news this summer first with his gallant effort before falling in four sets to Andy Murray at Wimbledon and then for his role in a confrontation with Leander Paes in a World Team Tennis match, is moving up to alternate list. He is currently the fourth alternate but if Benneteau moves into the main draw because of another withdrawal and Guccione doesn't advance to the semifinals at Cincinnati, the special exemption spots would go to Maximo Gonzalez (who owns wins over Mardy Fish and Carlos Moya this year) and Teimuraz Gabashvili. Kendrick would move up to the No. 1 alternate spot.

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