New Haven Register Blogs: Pilots' Blog: Local flavor at Pilot Pen

Pilots' Blog

Our bloggers check in with the latest news and views from the 2008 Pilot Pen Tennis Tournament.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Local flavor at Pilot Pen

Three former Connecticut high school stars will be in action when men's qualifying starts on Saturday.

Former North Branford High star Artie Beavis was given a last-minute wild card into qualifying and the current player at Division II Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. will play Alex Bogomolov Jr. at 9 a.m. in the first match on the grandstand court. Former Barlow star Will Boe-Wiegaard, who won a Division III national title at Bates College, earned a spot into the field by winning the men's open division crown at the Yale Summer Championships. He will face Alberto Francis at 9 a.m. on Court 1. Ex-Fairfield Prep and Wake Forest star Todd Paul will be the third match on Court I when he faces Ramon Delgado.

Veteran U.S. player Vince Spadea, once ranked as high as No. 18, is the top seed in qualifying and his match against Justin Natale will follow the Beavis/Bogomolov match on grandstand court. Jesse Levine, a 20-year-old rising American star who owns wins over Pilot Pen main draw competitors Donald Young, John Isner and Steve Darcis, is the second seed in qualies and will have the second match on Court I. One thing to consider, if I am understanding the ATP's Special Exempt placement rules corectly, Spadea could end up in the main draw. Two-time NCAA singles champion Somdev Devvarman was in contention for a spot in the main draw with a win over Igor Kunitsyn Friday as a Special Exempt since he would still be alive in the main draw of the Washington, D.C. event at the time the qualifying tournament in New Haven was going on. However, Devvarman lost 6-4, 6-1 opening up a spot. My assumption is that the next player on the alternate list (i.e. Spadea) would move into the main draw now that the Special Exempt spot was not filled.

Speaking of the Pilot Pen main draw, although Andy Roddick is not coming to New Haven, event organizers have the next best thing as Viktor Troicki - who beat Roddick in the quarterfinals in Washington, D.C. Friday, will be playing in the main draw.

Should be a full day of tennis on Saturday with women's and men's qualifying heating up.


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