With the Pilot Pen event in New Haven being the last tune-up event before the U.S. Open, it’s important to note who is playing there and what they hope to gain.
Less is not always more
Svetlana Kuznetsova is the number one seed on the women’s side after she was given a last minute wildcard entry into the field. “Sveta” has not played much this summer, losing early in Cincinnati and Toronto and also had to pull out of L.A. due to injury. She’s hoping for a strong showing this week to prove she’s still in the mix for the Open next week.
Second in line to the “crown”
Flavia Pennetta and Sam Querrey are in New Haven this week hoping they can win the top post on the U.S. Open Olympus Series. Pennetta currently trails Elena Dementieva by seventy points, but could take it if she wins the whole event. Querrey, on the men’s side, only trails current leader Andy Murray by fifteen points and probably could take the spot just by getting to the semis alone. I actually think Querrey deserves to win just because he has played in every tournament this summer starting in Newport. The series should reward players more for playing frequently as opposed to just showing up for the Master events only.
Check out the complete standings here.
Two ladies looking for some last minute redemption are #2 seed Caroline Wozniacki and #8 seed Amelie Mauresmo. Wozniacki, long touted as the next likely Grand Slam winner, has failed to live up to expectations. Mauresmo, despite a nice win in Paris earlier this year, seems on the last legs of her career. A good showing this week would boost her confidence.
And James Blake? He’s not even playing in his “hometown” tournament as he is preferring to rest before the Open. Blake has had a disappointing year results wise and has faded from view a bit in the wake of Roddick’s resurgence and Querrey’s great summer. In fact the only real news from Blake this week was the launch of his new clothing line from Fila that will bear his father’s name.
Do you think Blake can ever return to the top ranks? Let me know in the comments.