Britain’s Andy Murray is among the big names who will take part in this year’s PTT Thailand Open tennis tournament from Sept 24-Oct 2.
World No.4 Murray, who won in Cincinnati on Sunday, will join two past champions – Gilles Simon of France and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain – at next month’s event, which will use the Hawk-Eye replay technology for the first time.
Also joining the star-studded field of the US$644,500 tournament are Swedish world No.6 Robin Soderling and seventh-ranked Gael Monfils of France.
“It will be a tough tournament with many top players competing but I enjoy the challenge and will be doing my best to win the title,” said Soderling.
The 2009 winner Simon, who has already won two ATP titles this year – in Sydney and Hamburg – said: “I had a great time in Bangkok two years ago and was disappointed I couldn’t defend my title last year. So I am really happy that I can return this year.”
Last year, Garcia-Lopez, now ranked 37, beat Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the final to win his second ATP Tour title. The Spaniard is hoping to become the first back-to-back winner since Switzerland’s Roger Federer in 2004-2005
“Last year’s tournament was amazing for me. I hope to do well again in Bangkok this time,” said Garcia-Lopez.
Nieminen will also return to compete at this year’s tournament, along with Spanish left-hander Feliciano Lopez, Latvia’s Ernests Gulbis and Bulgarian rising star Grigor Dimitrov.
Dimitrov, 20, has surged up the world rankings from outside the top 300 to No.52 in just over a year. The youngster, who has been described as “the next Federer”, will make his Bangkok debut.
The organisers are still waiting to hear from world No.1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia whether he will make an appearance this year. Djokovic, who is still nursing a shoulder injury suffered in the Cincinnati final against Murray, has yet to decide whether to make it to the Bangkok stop.
A wild card has been reserved for the Serb if he makes a late decision to join the tournament, said Suwat Liptapanlop, the chairman of the PTT Thailand Open Executive Committee.