Tennis: Wilander ready for comeback: Former world No 1 to play in Atlanta next week

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The Independent Online
MATS WILANDER will attempt another comeback on the ATP Tour next week. The Swedish former world No 1 has taken a wild card for next week's AT & T Challenge in Atlanta and has told his agent that he will also request another for the USTA Clay Courts of Tampa the following week if he is happy with his progress, writes John Roberts in Monte Carlo.

The 28-year-old Wilander played his last ATP Tour event at the Stella Artois Championships at Queen's Club, London, in 1991. He has won seven Grand Slam titles, three of them in 1988, though he never mastered the Wimbledon lawns.

There is no comeback here in Monte Carlo this year for Bjorn Borg. The player who ignited the game in Sweden has returned as a VIP spectator after losing in the first round in the previous two years.

In yesterday's first round, Henri Leconte, who beat Borg 10 years ago in this tournament, produced some of his best play to defeat Jakob Hlasek, of Switzerland, 6-3, 7-6.

The Frenchman saved two set points in the second set tie-break before winning it 8-6. 'It was a difficult match because it's tough to play against a friend,' he said. Leconte now faces Stefan Edberg, the No 1 seed.

Leconte's team-mate from France's victorious 1991 Davis Cup team, Guy Forget, also came through with an excellent 6-4, 6-4 win over Goran Prpic, of Croatia, a semi-finalist in Monaco for the past two years but a qualifier this time.

Richard Krajicek, of the Netherlands, at No 9 the highest seed playing yesterday, also moved into the second round following a 6-1, 6-2 success over Germany's Bernd Karbacher.

The top eight seeds, including Boris Becker, Michael Stich and Goran Ivanisevic have byes into today's second round.