LONDON – Gael Monfils will make his debut at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals after becoming the sixth player to qualify for the prestigious season-ending tournament, to be held from 13-20 November at The O2 in London.
The Frenchman joins Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori in the elite field, securing his berth following Dominic Thiem’s loss today at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna. Thiem is looking to join Monfils as debutants at the prestigious season finale and currently sits in the eighth position in the Emirates ATP Race To London.
“It feels great to qualify for the (Barclays) ATP (World Tour) Finals for the first time in my career,” said Monfils. “It is a great way to finish my best season on the tour and I look forward to competing against the other best players of 2016. I heard a lot of great things about the event, every match is like a final and I always love to play on a big stage.”
It has been a career-best season for the 30-year-old Monfils. He opened his campaign with a quarter-final showing at the Australian Open (l. to Raonic) and finished runner-up at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam the following month (l. to Klizan). Back-to-back quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Sony Open in Miami then preceded a run to the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final (l. to Nadal).
Injury forced Monfils to miss Roland Garros, but the right-hander returned to top form over the summer, winning the biggest title of his career at the Citi Open in Washington (d. Karlovic) before reaching the semi-finals at the Rogers Cup in Toronto and the US Open, both times falling to Djokovic. Earlier this month, he reached the semi-finals at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships 2016 in Tokyo (l. to Kyrgios).
Two singles and two doubles spots remain up for grabs with less than two weeks remaining in the regular ATP World Tour season. Earlier today, Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram clinched their place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the first time. The South African-American duo will join Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut, Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez, and Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo in the English capital.
The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals has welcomed more than 1.8 million fans to The O2 arena over the past seven years, establishing itself as the biggest indoor tennis tournament in the world since moving to London in 2009. A record 102 million broadcast viewers also tuned in across the eight days of competition in 2015. The ATP announced last year that the event would remain at The O2 through to 2018.