Dreary Weather Dampens Pilot Pen’s Start

Pilot Pen1
NBC Connecticut

Some great tennis is getting served up again in New Haven, despite the dreary weather.
"It beats the heat, though I think the tennis players will probably enjoy it. The spectators will probably be cold. If they are not dressed for it, they are going to be cold," said George Waldron, who drove over to watch from Old Saybrook.

Sunday's soaking rain meant a jam-packed schedule on Monday.

While the stands were practically empty for the daytime matches, they filled up for Fairfield native James Blake in the afternoon. On Monday night, U.S. player Taylor Dent beat Eduardo Schwank, of Argentina and Dinara Safina, of Russia, outscored Francesco Schiavone, of Italy.

"I love it. I love watching tennis," said Chris Lemay, 10, from South Windsor.

It was the Lemay family's first trip to the Pilot Pen. They decided to risk getting wet.

"We rolled the dice this year and it's worked out so far. A little cool, but not wet. You know it's better, than if it was 95 degrees," Chris' mom Laura said.

Organizers said attendance has been down a little bit compared to last year and they blamed the dreary weather. But with the tournament running through Saturday, organizers aren't worried.

"It's looking better and better," said Tournament Director Anne Worchester.

Worchester is talking about the weather forecast for the rest of the week, as well as the tournament's chances of landing a new title sponsor, now that Pilot Pen is ending its 15-year run.

"There is some very strong interest from a handful of prospects," Worchester said.

Many of those prospective companies will visit this week and tennis fans hope they like what they see.

"It's the biggest thing in Connecticut outside the golf, which I hate, so I love tennis. I love to watch it," said Richard Nuzzo of Clinton.

As many as 90,000 people are expected to head to New Haven to watch this week, weather pending.

You can check the match schedule here.

Not all the action is on the court. There are also special events.

There will be a wine tasting on Tuesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $150 for a workshop, a wine tasting and four Riedel Vinum wine glasses, a suite pass and hors d’oeuvres.

The New Haven Food and Wine Festival is scheduled for Wednesday, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $125.

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