12/18/12 2:31 AM | Johan Lindahl
Former top 10 regular Gael Monfils will hope to start pulling his tattered game back together when he makes a return after long-term injury at the Auckland ATP event in January.
The Frenchman has been battling a knee problem for the better part of a year and last played regularly in the spring. He withdrew before the French Open, missed Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open before making a hopeful return at his home indoor event in Metz in September.
A surprise semifinal and a loss to Italian Andreas Seppi gave him hope - which was dashed as he lost in the Bangkok quarterfinals with a recurrence of his knee pain. He tried again in Stockholm in mid-October but went out in the first round to end his dismal season early.
Monfils joins an Auckland field which will also include Spanish world No.5 David Ferrer, former world No.2 Tommy Haas of Germany, one-time world No.8 Jurgen Melzer of Austria. Monfils currently stands 77th in the ATP rankings and he owns four career titles.
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