On the men's side, 2005 singles champion James Blake is the only player to commit early. Defending champion Nikolay Davydenko, who has earned a reputation as an ATP iron man by playing every week, will likely return to defend his title. No. 1 Roger Federer and No. 3 Andy Roddick are the longest of long shots to make their way to the Elm City, but the rest of the top 10 will be getting the full brunt of Worcester's recruiting pitch.
Second-ranked Rafael Nadal was at the tournament last year and used the practice courts. This year, Worcester is hoping Nadal, the three-time French Open champion, will return to the Connecticut Tennis Center, this time as a competitor. No. 5 Novak Djokovic, No. 6 Fernando Gonzalez, No. 7 Tommy Robredo, No. 8 Andy Murray and No. 10 Tommy Haas are also high on Worcester's men's player checklist. Gonzalez, Robredo and Haas all had successful runs at the 2005 Pilot Pen, but they did not return in 2006.
The Pilot Pen will run from Aug. 17-25 at the Connecticut Tennis Center. The entry deadline is early next month at the conclusion of Wimbledon. With the exception of four main-draw wild cards on the men's side and three women's main-draw wild cards, the fields will be announced during the second week of July.