The prestigious honor is determined by tennis media worldwide and awarded each year based on an upcoming player’s excellence and contribution to the game.
A Paris native, Monfils went through the HEAD Team Elite program. As a Junior in 2004, Monfils captured the titles at three of the four Junior Grand Slam tournaments (Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon).
During his first full year on the ATP Tour in 2005, the 19-year-old climbed an incredible 200 spots in the rankings to finish his first year at No. 31. Monfils, who signed a long-term contract with HEAD last spring, advanced to the fourth round of the Nasdaq-100 Open, captured his first title in Sopot, Poland, and reached the finals in two of his last three tournaments. Monfils currently plays with the HEAD Liquidmetal Prestige MP.
Mirza, a former HEAD Team Elite member as well, began 2005 with a victory at her first Tour event in front of a hometown crowd in Hyderabad, India, becoming the first-ever Indian singles tournament champion on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. The 20-year-old rocketed to the No. 31 spot after upsetting two Top 10 players during her first year on Tour. Mirza plays with the HEAD Flexpoint Instinct.
HEAD players who have also received this prestigious award include Svetlana Kuznetsova (2002), Juan Carlos Ferrero (1999) and Marat Safin (1998).