In the swing: Spain's Tommy Robredo arrived in HCM City yesterday for the Heineken Stars tournament. Also competing are Americans Mardy Fish and Sam Querrey and Argentina's Juan Monaco. — VNS Photo Courtersy of Heineken Stars
HCM CITY — Spain's Tommy Robredo was the first player to arrive in HCM City yesterday for the Heineken Stars 2010 at Phu Tho Gymnasium tomorrow and Saturday.
"I am happy to come and play tennis in Viet Nam. I received the invitation last week. By joining the Heineken Stars, I will be in good shape for my next tournament," Robredo said at a press conference in HCM City.
The Spanish star, who reached the semi-finals of the Swedish Open in July, will next be competing in China.
"I also think the Heineken Stars will be good preaparation for the China Open next week, which I'm playing in," Robredo said.
"I do not know whether I will win the tournament here or not but I will try my best. Among four players taking part, Mardy Fish, who is playing well, will be the toughest opponent at the Heineken Stars," the world No 42 said.
Mardy Fish from the US is the world No 19, while Sam Querrey, also from the States, is the world No 21. Meanwhile, Argentina's Juan Monaco, who arrives in HCM City today, is the world No 35.
According to the draw, Querrey will play Juan Monaco in the first semi-final at 6pm tomorrow . The second match will be between Fish and Robredo.
The final will take place at 6pm on Saturday.
The stars will also hold a tennis clinic for advanced junior players.
Robredo, Fish and Monaco are replacing Nalbandian, Haas and Ginepri, who pulled out of the tournament because of injury.
Nalbandian said Viet Nam was a very welcoming country and that he had been looking forward to competing in the Heineken Stars, which has in the past attracted such high-calibre players as Juan Carlos Ferrero, Carlos Moya, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nicolas Kiefer and Robin Soderling.
"Unfortunately during my Davis Cup semi-final match between my country, Argentina, and France I suffered an injury that is still making it difficult for me to play," he wrote in a letter.
Meanwhile, Ginepri said in a letter that he had been all set to play in Viet Nam and that he'd even booked his flight before injuring himself.
"Unfortunately, while participating in one of my normal training sessions, I was involved a freak accident and broke my left elbow. I had surgery on my arm two days ago," he wrote.
Tommy Haas also sent fans his regrets and wrote that he was excited about playing in Viet Nam in the foreseeable future. He said he was bitterly upset about missing Heineken Stars. — VNS