Tennis ace Monfils signs up for SA Open

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Gael Monfils has joined the list of top players in the coming South African Tennis Open at Montecasino in Johannesburg next year.

The Frenchman is ranked 14th in the world .

"I think it is a great coup for us to get somebody like Gael Monfils at next year's SA Open,'' said South African Tennis Association chief executive Ian Smith.

"He is not only a superb artist and athlete but his entertaining style of play is sure to endear him to the South African public.''

The 22-year-old Monfils will take part in this lucrative event along with his countryman, world No 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who was in the country when this prestigious tournament was launched.

"I'm really looking forward to playing in the South African Tennis Open.

"It will be a fun experience for me playing in Johannesburg," said Monfils.

"I have heard a lot of good things about the tournament and I can't wait to go there and play in front of all the fans, it will be lots of fun."

Monfils has already won a trophy on the African continent this year, a Challenger series event in Marrakech, Morocco in May.

He went from Morocco directly to Roland Garros where he lost to David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

Monfils has wins over top 10 players such as David Nalbandian, Fernando Gonzalez, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Marat Safin to his credit.