In 2010 Spaniard Albert Montanes was ranked a career high 22 in the World in singles but has now dropped to 106. He still makes a handy living though. At the Kitzbuhel tournament currently being played in Austria Albert was part of a series of circumstances that lead to him making the quarter finals of the main draw. He didn't however start in the main draw.
Albert played the qualifying event as his ranking was not high enough and he won his first round match 6-0, 6-0 against a Swiss player by the name of Jannis Liniger who is currently ranked 824. The Spaniard's second round match was against Victor Hanescu of Romania who has been as high as World number 26 in 2009. Montanes won this encounter 3 and 2.
The final qualifying match in Austria was against Kenny De Schepper of France currently ranked 144 in singles, a winnable match you would think for Montanes. Things though didn't go according to ranking and the man ranked 38 places below his more fancied opponent came away with a hard fought 3-6, 7-6, 7-5 win. The victory put him into the main draw and Montanes out of it, briefly anyhow.
The beauty of tennis is that it can give players a second chance whether it be through injury or other reasons but there are usually 'lucky losers' in most tournaments. If a player loses in the qualifying event they can still receive a spot in the main draw if a player does not show and luckily for Albert his name came up trumps in Austria.
The funny thing about his lucky loser's position in the draw was that it actually became a better position to be placed in than the player who beat him in the last round of qualifying. De Schepper lost first round of the main draw easily to fellow Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 2 and 2 who is now into the semi finals. Albert received a fairly decent first round match up against Melzer of Austria ranked 166 and won in two tight sets then won easily against Schwartzman 1 and 3.
The quarter final match for Montanes saw him take on number 1 seed Dominic Thiem of Austria who sits at World number 21 currently, a player on the rise. After a close first set which saw a tie break win to Thiem the Spaniard retired injured at 2-3 down in the second set. For his part in the rather fortunate entry into the main event Albert picks up around $12,000 Euros which was not even on his radar 4 days earlier.
I wonder what these guys do when they pick up a bonus like that and do they go out and have a spend up on some 'bonus cash' or do they simply put it into their rather lavish bank accounts ? Albert has won over five and a half million dollars in prize money in his career but 'only' one hundred grand so far this year.
At almost 35 years of age I would suspect Mr Montanes would be banking every cent he can as his playing days are almost numbered.
His spending days will be plentiful in the near future I would imagine.....