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

Verdasco, Petrova in; Isner out

The wild card picture is starting to come into focus.

No. 10 Fernando Verdasco received a men's wild card, marking the fifth straight year he will play in New Haven while No. 12 Nadia Petrova was given a women's wild card.

In other news, John Isner, who suffered heat exhaustion forcing him to retire in his singles match in Cincinnati, withdrew his wild card request giving the tournament two men's wild cards.

James Blake met with the media after a two-hour hitting session and said he is not playing in New Haven. There will be more on his decision in friday's Register.

Also, No. 1 Dinara Safina and No. 7 Vera Zvonareva will not be requesting wild cards meaning the tournament will lose one of its top 10 wild cards so there are no more women's wild cards available.

Marcos Baghdatis will likely get one of the wild cards with the other going to an American to be determined by the USTA.

The tournament has confirmed that Richard Gasquet intends to play qualifying, his first match since being suspended for testing positive for cocaine in March. The International Tennis Federation is appealing the decision and the USTA, which works in conjunction with the ITF, had no intentions of agreeing to give Gasquet a main-draw wild card.

Julien Benneteau, who moved up to No. 1 on the alternate list, pulled out.

There have been no withdrawals so far on the women's side.

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