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Giant-Killer and Young Gun Receive First Artois Wild Cards
Igor Andreev and Marin Cilic are the first players to be awarded wild cards into the Artois Championships, which begin in just under three weeks at The Queen’s Club in London.
Andreev was the last man to beat Rafael Nadal on clay before the Spaniard commenced his record-breaking 81-match winning streak on the surface.
The Russian also knocked Andre Agassi out of the Artois Championships on his grass-court debut in 2004.
Cilic is an 18-year-old Croatian player of whom big things are expected.
Standing 6’5” (1.95m), ranked No.114 and boasting a huge serve, he shares a lot in common with another former Artois Championships favourite, Goran Ivanisevic.
Ivanisevic was a finalist at The Artois Championships in 1997, and he was delighted to hear the news that his countryman had received a wild card into the event.
“It is good news,” said Ivanisevic. “I practiced with Cilic last week and he is really improving. His game should do well on grass.”
For Andreev, the prospect of returning to the scene of his first major success is a welcome one. In 2004, he defeated Agassi 4-6 7-6(2) 7-6(3) in the second round before bowing out to Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals.
Since then, the Russian has suffered some quite horrific injuries. Last year, he required eight months out of the game after undergoing surgery to his left knee.
He returned to the game in October 2006 and has made steady progress, reaching third rounds in Monte Carlo and Hamburg, and he is grateful for the opportunity to compete at the Artois Championships, 11-17 June.
“In advance I want to thank the Tournament Director,” he said.
“It means a great deal to get this wild card and I will do my very best with it. I was out of the Tour for eight months. Little bit by little bit I am getting stronger, and it’s nice to be back on the Tour.
“The 2004 Artois Championships was my first time on grass and an unbelievable experience. I played Andre Agassi in the second round and he was my idol when I was a kid. It was a very special time and unbelievable to beat him. I have very good memories of this event and I can’t wait to be there again.”
Andreev and Cilic join a star-studded field that includes Nadal, former World No.1’s Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin, British duo Andy Murray and Tim Henman, and Top Ten players Ivan Ljubicic, Novak Djokovic and Fernando Gonzalez.
The doubles draw will feature the Bryan Brothers – Mike and Bob, and Andy Murray’s brother, Jamie.
Even before his retirement, Rusedski never intended to play Queen's Club. He committed to Liverpool many months ago & still plans to play there:ColCHESTERfield wrote:Any chances for Rusedski to get WC in London?
ColCHESTERfield wrote:Why Zabaleta and Vassalo Arguello don't try to play on grass before the Wimbledon?
Any chances for Rusedski to get WC in London?
Palma wrote:Why is Dancevic allowed to be an ALT for both Halle and Queens? It seems certain he will get into Queens, but if he does make Halle as well which is he more likely to enter?
Also what are SE?
decrepitude wrote:Andy Murray has told his website he will not be fit for Queens.
From Times Online
June 7, 2007
British pair get Queens wild cards
Times Online and Agencies
British duo Alex Bogdanovic and Richard Bloomfield have been given wild cards for the Artois Championship at Queen's Club, which begins on Monday.
Both players have made progress up the world rankings this season. Bogdanovic has reached a career-high of 112 by winning a challenger tournament in Valencia and reaching a final in Cardiff.
Bloomfield broke into the top 200 for the first time this year and is rated 189 in the world having reached the final of a challenger event in Wrexham.
Paul Hutchins, the Lawn Tennis Association's head of men's tennis, said: "Alex has worked very hard to be just outside the main draw cut for the Artois Championships. Richard is not far behind him so they both thoroughly deserve their wild cards."
Igor Andreev, the French open quarter-finalist, and the promising Croatian Marin Cilic have already received wild cards with a fifth to be awarded before the tournament begins.
The Queen's line-up also includes Tim Henman, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Fernando Gonzalez and Ivan Ljubicic. The draw will be made at 4pm on Saturday.
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