I guess it is unlikely for Tommy to get the protected ranking so this WC would be good Haas, Monfils get Doha wildcards
DOHA: Tommy Haas of Germany and Gael Monfils of France have been handed wildcards by the Qatar Tennis Federation ((QTF) for the season-opening tournament to be played in Doha early next month.
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open will be held at Khalifa Tennis Complex from January 5 to 11. Haas and Monfils join top guns Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland at the $1m event.
This was announced by Nasser Al Khulaifi, President of QTF, at a press briefing yesterday. Karim Alami, the tournament director, was also present.
Andy Roddick of the US and Andy Murray of Britain are also part of the 32-player main draw. The third wildcard has been given to Qatar’s Abdulla Al Haji by the organisers.
Thirty-year-old Haas, who has been struggling to bounce back to into the top ten, having achieved a career-high ranking of world number two in 2002, is currently ranked 82.
The high point of his campaign last season has been the semi-final at Washington and the quarter-finals of the ATP Masters Series Indian Wells in Indianpolis.
The German finished out of top 50 for just the second time in past 12 seasons following a comeback from shoulder surgery in November 2007.
He opened the season in February before reaching the quarter-finals at ATP Masters Series Indian Wells in Indianapolis.
Hass, who rates his achievement of winning the silver medal in singles in 2000 Sydney Olympics as his best, posted wins over Roddick in the second round in Indianapolis and then defeated Murray in the fourth round before withdrawing, prior to his quarter-final match against Federer with a sinus infection.
World number 14, Frenchman Monfils, finished in the top 20 for the first time and won a personal-high of 30 matches, while reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros, where he lost to Federer.
He won his only title of the season in Marrakech and also lost in the Vienna event.
In the Olympics singles event he lost in the quarter-finals in Beijing and in the ATP Masters Series in Madrid, he failed to clear the last sixteen hurdle, while also reaching the semi-final at Nottingham and Bangkok events.
The ATP International Series event, will be contested by a field of 32 players in the singles event and 16 teams will vie for the top honours in the doubles.