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Monaco, Dolgopolov Confirm Kuala Lumpur Participation

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Monaco© Getty ImagesJuan Monaco will play in Kuala Lumpur for the first time.

The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 is thrilled to announce tennis’ newest Top 10 player, and one of the craftiest and most exciting players on the ATP World Tour, have confirmed Monday their participation in the US$947,750 ATP World Tour 250 tournament, to be held 22-30 September at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil.

Top-10 debutant Juan Monaco of Argentina, one of the standout players of the 2012 ATP World Tour season, will be making his first visit to Kuala Lumpur, while the “welcome back” mat will be laid out for Ukraine’s World No.17 Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Monaco and Dolgopolov join the previously confirmed David Ferrer of Spain, the World No. 5, who won his fifth title of the year last week in Bastad, Sweden, and Asian No. 1, Kei Nishikori, ranked No. 18.

Monaco is enjoying the best year of his career. On Sunday, the 28 year old from Tandil, a hotbed of tennis talent in Argentina, won his third title of the year at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Hamburg, and is now at a career high ranking of No. 10, something he could very well improve on, come September.

His participation was confirmed just hours after his Hamburg victory, following an initial meeting with “Pico”, as he is affectionately known, by IMG’s Tournament Director Nick Freyer, during Wimbledon. This third title of the year places Monaco behind KL bound Ferrer and tennis greats Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for the most titles won so far in 2012.

Monaco has now taken his win-loss record for 2012 to a very impressive 31-10. He has six career titles and has reached another nine finals, following his run to the final last Sunday at the ATP World Tour 250 event in Stuttgart.

“It's amazing, it's a dream come true,” Monaco said of his new position in the Top 10. “I will always remember this great week because it's very important for me and my team. It was a big goal we had pre-season when we were practising very hard.” 

The victory over an in-form Tommy Haas in Hamburg adds to titles he won in Vina del Mar and then in Houston where he beat two giant servers, Kevin Anderson and in the final John Isner. He was a semi-finalist at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami where he had a stunning run, beating, in back-to-back matches, Gael Monfils, Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish.

He also made the last 16 at Roland Garros, accounting for Milos Raonic is a five set thriller. He now turns his attention, along with Ferrer and Nishikori to the London 2012 Olympics.

Dolgopolov is also coming off a solid result in recent weeks on the ATP World Tour, having made the semi-finals in Umag, Croatia. Dolgopolov is one of the most exciting players in men’s tennis. The 23-year old Ukrainian was ranked No. 13 following the Australian Open earlier this year.
 
“I have fond memories of my last visit to Kuala Lumpur,” Dolgopolov said. “My coach Jack and I felt very comfortable and welcome in Malaysia and we are excited to return and play the highest quality tennis. I hope it will deliver another KL Champion from my part of Europe, and I would love it to be me.”

Rafael Nadal said of “Dolgo”, as he is known everywhere: “He's a crazy player, not like a crazy guy (but) because you can expect everything. He can play really aggressive; he can play very fast; he has a very good serve; and the ball is going too fast sometimes. He can beat you and you will not have something to do with it. He's a special player. I know he can hit a winner from every place in the court.”

Dolgopolov has one career title, Umag in 2011, and has reached two other finals, one of those being in Brisbane this year. In Brisbane he defeated Radek Stepanek and Gilles Simon before a leg injury prevented him from producing his best tennis against Andy Murray in the final.

He was a quarter-finalist at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 in Madrid defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He also made it to the last 16 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells defeating former Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur finalist Marcos Baghdatis and in Monte-Carlo where he turned the tables on Bernard Tomic. The two of them played a glorious five set match at this year’s Australian Open which remains one of the best matches of 2012.

Tournament Director Nick Freyer said, “Alex has come so far since he first visited our tournament ranked 55 two years ago, and it is always a treat for us to welcome back a player with extreme talent such as his. The match he played against Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open in February was a contest between two true wizards of the game.”

The tournament also announced that fans visiting the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 should make sure to keep their ticket stub. Every ticket stub will have a coupon printed on it that will entitle the holder to discounts (including a 35% discount on Wilson products from the tournament booth at the stadium) when purchasing a variety of the great sponsor products that will be on offer.

“Our fans mean a lot to us so we are delighted to be able to offer them something back. We want them to have a fun experience at the tournament and this promotion just ads to our “Catch the Autographed Ball” and “Win 500 ATP Shirts per day” activities that have already been announced,” added Freyer.

Tickets can be purchased by visiting the official website http://www.malaysianopentennis.com/2012/tickets.php.

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