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Tennis stunned by Montcourt death

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:39

Montcourt, who was ranked 119th in the world, was found dead overnight outside the door to his flat in Paris.

An autopsy should be carried out on Wednesday to determine the cause of death.

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) led the tributes to Montcourt, who mainly plied his trade in the circuit’s Challenger events but made the second round of the French Open back in May.

“At 24, this very engaging boy, who had a strong personality and an independent character, was universally appreciated by all the French players and on the international circuit,” read an FFT statement.

“This hopeful had progressed steadily over the past few seasons and was on the cusp of the world’s top 100 last month. His sudden death plunges all the tennis family into immense sadness.”

Patrice Dominguez, the FFT’s national technical director, added: “Mathieu was a promising youngster. He was very hard-working, serious and healthy. He was also a very kind and open boy. We are completely shocked. Our first thoughts go to his family.”

Montcourt had on Monday begun a five-week suspension for gambling online on other players’ matches. He had been cleared of influencing the outcome of any of the matches.

He was banned for eight weeks last August by the ATP but that was reduced on appeal in May.

He lost to Radek Stepanek at this year’s Roland Garros but climbed to a career-best ranking of 104 last month.

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