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2007 Petrobras Cup - After 13 months off the courts, the former 3rd seed will be back to the circuit in Belo Horizonte


Away from the courts for the past 13 months due a shoulder injury, Argentine Guillermo Coria, formerly 3rd seed, picked the Belo Horizonte stage of the Petrobras Cup, the biggest Challenger series in Latin America, to make his way back to the courts this year. The official wild card announcement was made to the player this Wednesday (10/17), at the Pampulha Iate Clube, during the press conference held to launch the Minas Gerais tournament.

The 2004 Roland Garros runner-up and the winner of nine ATP titles in his career, Coria hasn’t played since September 2006, but he is getting ready to regain his best shape again.

The organization has also confirmed it has invited Argentine Mariano Puerta to participate in the stage. The two other wild cards will be defined this weekend. “They are sure to be Brazilians, but we will wait until the weekend, since some of them are still playing the Bogota stage. We want to give the new generation the priority,” said Antonio Torello, the tournament’s director.

After Romanian Victor Hanescu, Argentine Sergio Roitman, and Brazilian Flavio Saretta, who has not fully recovered from a cracked bone in his right elbow, ped out, São Paulo’s Júlio Silva got an opening in the main draw of the Minas Gerais stage, which will begin this Saturday with the qualifying. The main draw will begin Monday and bring together, in addition to Brazilian and Argentine players, others from Chile, Italy, Uruguay, Spain, France, Portugal, and Colombia. Admission to the PIC is free throughout the tournament.

During this Wednesday’s press conference, Hernani Miranda, at Petrobras’ Sponsorship, emphasized Petrobras Cup’s importance as one of the tools to internationalize the company and to reinforce its social commitment via sports in the regions it has operations in.

To Miguel Bechara, Minas Gerais Tennis Federation’s president, the Petrobras Cup is a “historical landmark” for Minas Gerais. “In the 19 years I’ve been ahead of the Federation, this is the first time we host a tournament of this size,” he said. ”The PIC is available in order to turn this event into a major success,” said Carlos Augusto Passos, the club’s president.

This week, the Petrobras Cup is being played in Bogota (COL). It will then go on to Belo Horizonte, from October 22 to 28; and then to Montevideo (URU), October 29 to November 4; Asuncion (PAR), from November 5 to 11; and Buenos Aires (ARG), November 12 to 18. The Champions’ Tournament is scheduled for December 4 to 8, in Aracaju (SE).

The tournaments have cash prizes of $75,000, and scores equivalent to $100,000 events, while the Champion’s Tournament’s cash prize will be $100,000 plus lodging.

List of entries (ranking on 10/01/07):
Sergio Roitman (ARG) – 64
Martin Vassallo Arguello (ARG) – 76
Mariano Zabaleta (ARG) – 84
Victor Hanescu (ROU) – 87
Juan Pablo Brzezicki (ARG) – 100
Paul Capdeville (CHI) – 101
Olivier Patience (FRA) – 102
Santiago Ventura (SPA) - 104
Fabio Fognini (ITA) - 108
Nicolas Devilder (FRA) - 126
Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) – 127
Pablo Cuevas (URU) - 128
Flavio Saretta (BRA) – 137
Frederico Gil (POR) – 139
Flavio Cipolla (ITA) - 143
Juan Pablo Guzman (ARG) – 146
Pablo Andujar (SPA) – 155
Marcel Granollers-Pujol (SPA) – 158
Fernando Vicente (SPA) – 159
Eric Prodon (FRA) – 167
Santiago Giraldo (COL) – 169
Brian Kabul (ARG) - 170
WC – Guillermo Coria (ARG)
WC – Mariano Puerta (ARG)


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