Nottingham Raises The Bar Even Higher -
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Nottingham Raises The Bar Even Higher

Nottingham Raises The Bar Even Higher
Record ATP player entry cut-off point for Nottingham The Open

Patrick Hughesman, tournament director for The Open has today confirmed that the tournament has achieved its highest ever ATP main draw player cut-off point in its eleven year history.

With the deadline date for player entries closing last week, and based on the INDESIT ATP Entry Rankings for the week of 2nd May, Kevin Kim (USA) at No.65 in the world was the lowest ranked of the 23 players entered for the tournament that begins on 13th June. In 2004, Victor Hanescu (Romania) was ranked No.69 in the world.

The current 23 player entry list provides exciting reading for tennis fans. Representing sixteen countries, four players are ranked within the top 20, six players are ranked within the top thirty in the world and the top fourteen players are ranked within the world's top 50.

Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia will be the highest ranked player to compete in The Open between 13th-18th June. The world no.13, has reached four ATP singles finals this year, the world no.1 Roger Federer (Switzerland) preventing the Croatian No.1 from adding to the ATP singles title he won in Lyon in 2001.

The second highest ranked player is David Ferrer of Spain. Ranked No.17 in the world, earlier this year the 23 year-old Spaniard reached a singles final in Valencia and the semi-final stages in Rome and Miami.

Hot on his heels in the rankings is world no.18 Dominik, 'The Dominator', Hrbaty of Slovakia. The 27 year-old, with six ATP career singles titles, recently defeated British No.1 Tim Henman in the 3rd round of the Rome Masters.

Thomas Johansson of Sweden (world no. 19) is the final top 20 player entered for Nottingham. Defeated by the defending Nottingham singles champion and world no.33, Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand, the Swede will be hoping to repeat the run of form that saw him lift the title in 2001.

The youngest player entered into the main draw has already claimed the biggest scalp of his career this year. At only 18 years old, Richard Gasquet (world no.56) is a young rising star of world tennis set to make his debut appearance at Nottingham. Earlier last month, the Frenchman and former world junior champion, defeated world no.1 Roger Federer (Switzerland) in the quarter-final stages at Monte Carlo.

Two returning American players will be familiar to Nottingham tennis fans.

Mardy Fish (world no. 52) was defeated in the 2003 final by Greg Rusedski (GBR), whilst his fellow American, Taylor Dent (world no.30) and a semi-finalist last year, will also be hoping to go a step further in 2005.

The 23 players announced today will subsequently be joined by nine other players including those who reach the main draw through the tournament qualifying rounds (4) and a wild card entry (3). In accordance with ATP tournament regulations, two 'special exempt' positions will also be filled much nearer to the start of the event.

In total 32 world class tennis players will contest The Open between 13th and 18th June on the superb grass courts of The City of Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Commenting on the entry list, Hughesman said: "At the close of entry deadline last week, the tournament had achieved the highest ever main draw player cut-off point in its history. The strength of the entry list is all too apparent with the latest rankings showing four players are in the top 20 and six players ranked within the world's top 30.

It's a very impressive line-up." Hughesman added: "With over 5000 tickets now already sold ahead of the tournament, tennis fans are assured of a great atmosphere whilst watching truly exciting world class tennis action in Nottingham next month."
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