• Monfils leads field in Hamburg

    7/17/11 8:45 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Monfils leads field in Hamburg Gael Monfils will make his return to the ATP World Tour, after suffering a first-round exit at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. The Frenchman is set to lead a field of 48 players in Hamburg, Germany.

    World No. 7 Gael Monfils returns to clay-court competition for the third week of July, following a disappointing run at the Mercedes Cup. The 24-year-old held match points against veteran Victor Hanescu, but was unable to close the opening-round match.

    Monfils is 19-8 overall for the 2011 season. The Frenchman looks to win consecutive matches for the first time since Wimbledon.

    The World No. 7 leads the top half of the draw that includes: (4) Mikhail Youzhny, (5) Gilles Simon, (7) Juan Ignacio Chela, (10) Alexandr Dolgopolov, (12) Marin Cilic, (13) Andreas Seppi and (14) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Additional competitors in the section are Radek Stepanek, Jarkko Nieminen, Santiago Giraldo, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Robin Haase and Denis Istomin.

    After a first-round bye, Monfils is scheduled to open his bid against either compatriot Adrian Mannarino or qualifier Albert Ramos. The nearest seed to the Frenchman is Seppi, who looks to be a likely round of 16 challenger. Further progress may set a quarterfinal meeting with countryman Simon or Dolgopolov.

    Should Monfils move into the semifinal, he could meet fourth seed Youzhny or 7th seed Chela.

    The semifinal winner looks to a possible championship clash with 2010 runner-up Jurgen Melzer, third seed Nicolas Almagro or 8th seed Fernando Verdasco.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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