Monfils given wild card into Monte Carlo

Gael Monfils advanced in the Gerry Weber Open (AP/Peter Dejong)

PARIS — Gael Monfils of France has been awarded a wild card for the Monte Carlo Masters following a year affected by knee injuries in which his ATP ranking dropped to No. 99.

Tournament director Zeljko Franulovic announced the decision on Friday for the 2008 French Open semifinalist, who had a career-high ranking of No. 7 in 2011.

Monfils’ last match was a first-round loss last month to Marcel Granollers at the Open 13 in France.

“I’m delighted to be able to take part in the Monte Carlo Masters this year,” Monfils said. “I will be doing a specific (training) program on clay throughout March in order to be ready for the (clay court) season, which I hope will enable me to climb back up the rankings.”

Novak Djokovic confirmed he will play in the April 13-21 clay-court tournament. The top-ranked Serb lost last year’s final to Rafael Nadal, who will be bidding for his ninth straight Monte Carlo title.

Second-ranked Roger Federer is skipping the event, but No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 5 David Ferrer and No. 6 Tomas Berdych will compete.

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