Press Release Nr 5
Following the announcement of the first wild card awarded to the Brazilian Gustavo Kuertan in March, Zeljko Franulovic on Wednesday 16th April, the Director of the Tournament and former champion in Monte Carlo, unveiled the names of the three other players who will be invited to the Masters Series Monte Carlo presented by Rolex, which will take place from 19th to 27th April 2008.
The Committee of the Tournament has awarded four “wild cards” for the Final Draw to the following players:
- Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil). After discovering tennis at the age of six, the young Brazilian became a professional player in 1995 and has 20 singles tournaments to his name, including three tournaments from the Grand Chelem and five from the Masters Series. Aged 31, Gustavo Kuerten, former world nr 1, who has always enjoyed a special relationship with the public, wanted to conduct a farewell tour to return to the courts that honoured him in the past and to thank his many supporters. Monaco, which he won twice in 1999 and 2001, will be the first stage of this much awaited European tour.
- Marat Safin (Russia). Winner of two Grand Chelem titles (US Open in 2000 and Australian Open in 2005) and fifteen singles titles including five at the Masters Series. The winner of the Davis Cup in 2002 and 2006 seems to be a player in top form at the moment. He delivered one of his famous matches for which he holds the secret during the first match of the Davis Cup quarter finals which took place on Saturday 12th April 2008 between Russia and the Czech Republic, beating Thomas Berdych – none other than the 9th world player. He also gave a spectacular performance yesterday (Tuesday) at the first round of the Valence tournament, managing to eliminate the Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero (seeded competitor number four) on a clay court in three sets (6-3, 5-7, 6-4). That augurs well for Monaco.
- Mario Ancic (Croatia). Winner of three titles on the ATP circuit and the Davis Cup with Croatia in 2005, he has been training since the age of 10 with Goran Ivanisevic. He is the first player since Björn Borg in 1973 to have won his very first match on the central court of Wimbledon against a certain Roger Federer. His victory earned him the nickname “Super Mario” by the British press.
- Jean-René Lisnard (Monaco). Number 1 player of the Monegasque team for the Davis Cup, he greatly contributed towards Monaco’s qualifying last weekend against Greece, by winning his two singles matches, the second in five sets after leading 2 sets to 0 and 5 games to 4 in the third set. Victory with a score of 3-2.
With these 4 “wild cards”, ready to compete, the Final Draw will bring together 56 of the world’s best players, starting on Sunday 20th April, to win the title of the Men's Singles and walk away with the Challenge Cup awarded by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, to be brought into play on Sunday 27th April at 3 p.m. for the best of three sets.
The official drawing of lots will take place on Saturday 19th April at midday in the V.I.P. village by Stéphane Aspostolou, the chief umpire of the Tournament.
NOTE FOR ACCREDITED JOURNALISTS:
A round table with six of the best players in the ATP ranking (including one or more French players) will be organised on Sunday 20th April 2008 at 3 p.m. by the ATP and the organisers of the Tournament.
Société Monégasque pour l’Exploitation du Tournoi de Tennis
Le Puccini, 48, boulevard d'Italie 212 - MC 98004 – Monaco Cedex
Press Contact: Philippe RIALLAND (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Accreditation: Elisabeth NAPIERALA (email@example.com)