By Tennis Week
2/12/2008 2:01:00 PM
Marcos Baghdatis' abrupt departure from the 2007 ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament did not exactly endear him to organizers. But Baghdatis, his manager and tournament director Richard Krajicek cleared the air over the Cypriot's 2007 withdrawal and those discussions cleared a path for the 2006 Australian Open finalist to receive the third and final wild card into next week's Rotterdam event.
"I felt uncomfortable about not being able to play in Rotterdam last year," Baghdatis said. "I am therefore delighted to have the opportunity to participate and hope to play some entertaining tennis."
The tournament is set for February 18-24 in Ahoy Rotterdam. Baghdatis joins a field that features second-ranked Rafael Nadal, third-ranked Novak Djokovic, fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko, fifth-ranked David Ferrer, eighth-ranked Mikhail Youzhny, the defending champion and 11th-ranked Andy Murray.
Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon winner, said he's eager to welcome Baghdatis back to the 32-player draw.
"I have had several discussions with Marcos and his new manager. We’ve put the past behind us, and I very much look forward to seeing him play in Rotterdam," Krajicek said. "Marcos Baghdatis is a highly capable, charismatic player and a superb addition to our very strong tournament line-up."
A year ago, Youzhny beat Tomas Berdych, Robin Haase and David Ferrer in succession before scoring a 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-5, semifinal victory over the then 14th-ranked Djokovic. Youzhny topped Ivan Ljubicic, 6-2, 6-4, in the final.
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