Former world tennis No.7 Gael Monfils of France has been handed a wildcard entry into the Heineken Open tournament in Auckland.
Monfils, 26, who beat Spanish great Rafael Nadal in straight sets earlier this year, joins Spanish world No.5 David Ferrer, German former world No.2 Tommy Haas and Austrian former world No.8 Jurgen Melzer in the field for the tournament starting on January 7.
The former junior champion at Wimbledon and at the French and Australian Opens has won four ATP titles and made 13 finals. He reached his highest world ranking in July last year.
However, he has battled knee injuries this season, with his ranking plummeting to 77.