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Big names heading for Gstaad

Spain’s Juan-Carlos Ferrero is set to head the field Keystone Archive

At least four players from the world's top 20 are expected to take part in this summer's Swiss Open tennis tournament in Gstaad.

Organisers of Switzerland’s biggest outdoor tennis event announced this year’s provisional line-up on Tuesday, with Spanish world number three Juan-Carlos Ferrero currently heading the list of slated players.

Ferrero will be hoping to go one better than last year when he reached the final of the Swiss event only to lose out to surprise tournament winner Jiri Novak.

Since lifting the Gstaad trophy, the Czech player has climbed from 40th in the world rankings to 15th and is due to defend the title at this year’s event.

Homegrown talent Roger Federer could well add to the number of top ten players in Gstaad this year. After a great start to the year, including his first ever appearance in a Masters Series semi-final, the Swiss number one is currently ranked 11th in the world.

Two-time Gstaad champion Alex Corretja of Spain (ATP 18) is the fourth top 20 player scheduled to appear in the Bernese Oberland this summer with top 30 players Nicolas Lapentti, Hicham Arazi and Albert Costa completing an attractive line-up.

Switzerland’s best performer last year is also due to make a return, with Bern’s Michel Kratochvil looking to build on his run to the 2001 quarter-finals. Like Federer, Kratochvil (ATP 40) appears to be in good form at the moment and recently celebrated an unexpected win over American star Andre Agassi.

The Swiss Open tennis tournament has a budget of around SFr7 million ($4.19 million) and pays out SFr1 million ($600,000) in total prize money.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR