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Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Tuesday, 18 May 2010 14:07 UK

Mario Ancic given wildcard for Queen's Club

Aegon Championships
Venue: Queen's Club, London Dates: 7-13 June
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Eurosport, BBC red button and BBC Sport website (UK users only). Full coverage details to follow.

Mario Ancic
Ancic lost to Andy Roddick in the 2004 Wimbledon semi-finals

Mario Ancic has been awarded a wildcard into the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club next month.

The 26-year-old former Wimbledon semi-finalist missed most of last year with glandular fever - his second stint out of the game because of the illness.

The Croat was declared fit to play at the end of last year and said he was looking forward to playing on grass.

"Grass is where I had my best results and I can do a lot of damage. I have a shot to go a long way," he said.

In 2007, Ancic was confined to bed for most of the year with his first bout of glandular fever, but he came back to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2008.

That was the last meaningful tournament he played before being struck down by the virus again.

Ancic added: "The tournament director gave me a wildcard when I was 18 and now again, and we have always had a great relationship.

It was difficult to see the Aegon Championships and Wimbledon on TV last year and not to be there

Mario Ancic

"Coming to Wimbledon again this time is going to be an exceptional feeling for me after missing it last year.

"It was difficult to see the Aegon Championships and Wimbledon on TV last year and not to be there. It made me even more hungry to come back. I feel good now."

Ancic, who made the last four at Wimbledon in 2004, missed the last seven months of last year and he began work in a law firm as doubts over his future in tennis grew.

"Working in a law firm was good for me," said Ancic. "There was less stress, and no travelling.

"It was tough work, a lot of hours every day, but I liked it. It was similar to tennis in a way - individual and competitive, so my tennis career helped my law career.

"But I still wanted to come back to tennis."

Aegon Championships tournament director Chris Kermode said: "Mario is a hugely talented tennis player who has endured some terrible luck.

"When fully fit and in top form, he is capable of challenging for the Aegon Championships title and going deep in to the second week at Wimbledon.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming him back to The Queen's Club."

The championship will feature eight of the world's top 12 players: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick, Fernando Verdasco, Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic.

There are are four more wildcards to be awarded.

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see also
Murray to defend title at Queen's
04 May 10 |  Tennis
Classy Murray wins Queen's title
14 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Ancic as it happened
14 Feb 09 |  Tennis

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