15 Dec 2012

Monfils gets wildcard for Auckland

11:22 am on 15 December 2012

The French tennis player Gael Monfils has been given a wildcard for the Heineken Open in Auckland in the New Year - taking the number of former top 10 players to four.

The former world No.7, who knocked over Rafael Nadal in straight sets earlier this year, joins world No.5 David Ferrer, former world No.2 Tommy Haas and former world No.8 Jurgen Melzer in what is shaping up as one of the best men's fields to come here.

26-year-old Monfils has won four ATP titles, made 13 finals and was ranked No.7 in the world in July last year after consistently sitting in the top 20 since 2008.

He is a former Wimbledon, Roland Garros and Australian Open junior champion and has reached two Masters finals.

Monfils, who has made one appearance in Auckland in 2007, struggled with a knee injury for the latter part of the year but still made the semifinals in Metz in September.

He is now ranked 77th in the world.

Earlier this week Budge gave his first wildcard to this year's Heineken Open finalist Olivier Rochus. He has one more wildcard to allocate.