Heineken Open offers strongest line-up yet
Organisers of the Heineken Open have today announced the strongest event line-up, with seven of the Top 20 players in the world set to converge on Auckland this January.
Joining the already announced four-time Heineken Open champion David Ferrer (10), Ernests Gulbis (13), Kevin Anderson (16), Tommy Robredo (17), Gael Monfils (18), defending champion John Isner (19), and Dominic Thiem (39); will be world number 15 Roberto Bautista Agut, eighth seed Santiago Giraldo (32), Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (36), Steve Johnson (37), 2014 Finalist Yen-Hsun Lu (38), and 2014 wildcard Jack Sock (42).
“To have seven players inside the world’s Top 20 is an amazing feat. I’m not sure we will replicate this in a hurry!” says Tournament Director, Karl Budge.
Bautista Agut has had a career best year which has seen him earn the ATP Most Improved Player award for 2014. Kicking on from his semi-final appearance in Auckland (losing to eventual champion Isner), the Spaniard went on to beat Juan Martin del Potro, who was world number five at the time, in the second round of the Australian Open, before capturing his first ATP World Tour title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. His second title came quickly only weeks later in Stuttgart, and he reached the semi-finals in Madrid, where he met world number three Rafael Nadal. He ended the year strongly being runner up to US Open champion Marin Cilic in Moscow.
Eighth seed Santiago Giraldo has also had a career best year, reaching four semi-finals (Vina del Mar, Houston, Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen), a final in Barcelona, and had a dream run in the Masters 1000 level event in Madrid beating Andy Murray, Jo Tsonga and Lleyton Hewitt, en route to his first Masters quarter-final. He also made the semi-finals of the doubles in Kuala Lumpur alongside Kiwi number one, Michael Venus.
The 2015 tournament sees the return of American rising star, Jack Sock, who was a wildcard at the 2014 tournament, defeating world number 12, Tommy Haas, in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals. Sock reached his first ATP World Tour semi-final this year, knocking out Heineken Open champion, John Isner in Newport, and followed that up with another semi-final appearance in Atlanta. He recorded a top ten victory over US Open finalist Kei Nishikori in Shanghai. The young American had a successful year of doubles, teaming up with Canadian Vasek Pospisil to win the Wimbledon Men's Doubles in a five set final against the number one seeds, Bob and Mike Bryan.
Sock forms part of a strong contingent of the most promising talent on tour, with youngsters Bautista-Agut, the already announced Dominic Thiem, and rising Portugal star, Joao Sousa (54) who made two ATP finals and a semi-final this year.
“It is such a varying field with some big servers, some of the better returners and the most promising talent on tour,” continues Budge.
Off the back of strong ticket sales, organisers can also confirm that a new grandstand will be erected for the event, housing an additional 200 seats for fans to enjoy. The new grandstand will be a first for the events, positioned on top of the Next Generation Club, providing a very unique view over all three match courts.
“The way ticket sales are going, and with the quality of both fields, we felt there was demand for greater capacity, and the new stand will provide a unique spot for fans to soak up the action,” says Budge.
12 – 17 January, 2015
ASB Tennis Arena, Auckland
Tickets are available from Ticketek
The 2015 Heineken Open will offer a truly international line-up, celebrating world-class tennis on the local stage at the NZ Festival of Tennis, as well as the very best hospitality offering including MASU, Best Ugly Bagels, and The Grill at the Heineken Baseline live-site. A must-do on the Auckland summer calendar, the Heineken Baseline After Party returns for its seventh instalment for 2015, kicking off on Saturday January 17th at the conclusion of the Heineken Open finals. It’s the place where tennis and music collide, bringing together an epic array of local and international artists and a sell-out crowd to celebrate two weeks of premium summer entertainment. The Heineken Baseline After Party line-up boasts Australian EDM duo Peking Duk, Jupiter Project, Electric Wire Hustle, Chelsea Jade and Dan Aux.
All centre court matches for the Heineken Open will be screened live on SKY TV from the scheduled start of play at midday.
Full list of seeded players for the Heineken Open 2015:
(10) David Ferrer ESP
(13) Ernests Gulbis LAT
(15) Roberto Bautista Agut ESP
(16) Kevin Anderson RSA
(17) Tommy Robredo ESP
(18) Gael Monfils FRA
(19) John Isner USA
(32) Santiago Giraldo (COL)
Full Field List:
(36) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez ESP
(37) Steve Johnson USA
(38) Yen-Hsun Lu TPE
(39) Dominic Thiem AUT
(42) Jack Sock USA
(44) Adrian Mannarino FRA
(51) Pablo CarrenoBusta ESP
(54) Joao Sousa POR
(57) Donald Young USA
(59) Jan-Lennard Struff GER
(60) Federico Delbonis ARG