Tsonga and Monfils out, Almagro and Lopez in at Mubadala World Tennis Championship

Tournament organisers announced on Thursday Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils had withdrawn from the tournament and would be replaced by Feliciano Lopez and Nicolas Almagro.
Feliciano Lopez rose to No 14 in the world ATP rankings in 2014. Christopher Pike / The National
Feliciano Lopez rose to No 14 in the world ATP rankings in 2014. Christopher Pike / The National

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship will now have a very Spanish feel to it, as organisers announced on Thursday the French pair of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils had withdrawn and were being replaced by Spaniards Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez.

Tsonga, the world No 12, has an arm injury and Monfils, the world No 18, tore his hamstring earlier this week, according to the press release.

Almagro and Lopez are added to a field that already includes compatriot Rafael Nadal, as well as world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray.

Almagro reached the 2012 final of the event, where he lost to Djokovic in three sets.

“The tournament will give me a great opportunity to play against the top players in the world and of course I’ll be hoping to repeat the success I had two years ago, although I know it will be tough,” said Almagro, the world No 71, said in a press release.

Lopez, the world No 14, won the fourth ATP title of his career this season, at the Nottingham Open in the run-up to Wimbledon. He also appeared at the Queen’s Club final and reached the semi-finals of the Canada Masters tournament. His best showing at a grand slam came at Wimbledon, where he rached the last 16.

Almagro was 14-9 across a 2014 season that saw him deal with injury issues, missing the Australian and US Opens as well as Wimbledon. He lost in the first round at Roland Garros to Jack Sock.

Tsonga, meanwhile, said, “unfortunately my team have advised me that I need to rest my arm ... I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete this year in Abu Dhabi”.

Monfils also said he was “hugely saddened” not to be able to play in the tournament.

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Published: December 18, 2014 04:00 AM

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