LEFTOVERS FROM LAST WEEK’S PILOT PEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT

It was a great week and another year is in the books for the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament. Your faithful Shad took the week to work the event as stadium announcer and player-gazer. Some last observations:
• It’s the last year of sponsorship by Pilot Pen Corp. PPC Chairman Emeritus Ron Shaw, a key figure in keeping the tournament in New Haven for the last 15 years, was on-hand at the closing ceremonies to tell everyone it wasn’t his fault the company was beating feet. Pilot Pen’s corporate office in Japan pulled the plug. At least we know who to blame.
• Caroline Wozniacki is as sweet as she seems. Hence the song I played for her every time she won (she is undefeated in New Haven). I’ll be rooting for her in the US Open.
• Most of the players are nice and personable. Some are insufferable.
• Maria Kirilenko is as beautiful as Anna Kournakova and she can actually play.
• Dave Soloman (New Haven Register), Paul Doyle and Lori Riley (Hartford Courant) were daily must-reads covering the event.
• New England Sound is the company to go to for sound systems.
• Tennis Chair Umpire Lynn Welch is the nicest sports official I’ve ever met. If I was a player, I’d have a hard time yelling at her, a la John McEnroe.