Latest 2 Nov 2011

Ferrer and Verdasco confirmed for 2012 Heineken Open

Ferrer and Verdasco confirmed for 2012 Heineken Open

Current world No. 5 and defending champion David Ferrer along with former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco will be two of the big guns at next year’s Heineken Open.

The two Spaniards will feature in the Panasonic Singles from 9-14 January 2012 with two-time winner Ferrer being joined by Verdasco, who will be making his first appearance in New Zealand.

Ferrer has enjoyed a fruitful year after kick starting it with his second victory in Auckland. The 29-year-old won another ATP title in Acapulco and contested his second Grand Slam semifinal at the 2011 Australian Open. He finished the year on a high qualifying for the prestigious ATP World Tour Finals soon to be held in London.

Heineken Open Tournament Director Richard Palmer is delighted to have one of the world’s top five players back in Auckland.

“David said he would return and has honoured that promise. As his ranking shows, he has had a great year and cemented his place as one of the world’s top players. Auckland seems to help him kick off his year in a positive fashion.”

Verdasco reached his career high ranking of No. 7 in 2009. That year the Madrid native clinched the Davis Cup title for the second year running with his doubles win. He also captured his third career ATP title, reached two other finals and finished 2009 by making the ATP World Tour Finals in London.

In 2010 the 27-year-old lefthander won two ATP titles and reached the quarter-finals or better 10 times. This year he reached the last 16 at the Australian Open, and the quarterfinals at Queens, Washington and Beijing. He also reached the semifinal in Hamburg and was runner up in San Jose, Estoril and Gstaad. With more than US$8 million in prize money, Verdasco currently sits at 23 in the world rankings.

Palmer says Verdasco is someone he’s always had his eye on.

“The Spaniards seem to like coming to Auckland, and it is great to finally get Fernando to play in the Heineken Open. Not only is he a fresh face but he is also a very accomplished player as his record testifies. Over the years, many people have asked if it was possible to get him here.”

Ferrer, with career earnings of US$12 million, will be making his seventh appearance in Auckland where he has an amazing record of always making at least the quarterfinals except on one occasion.

He is renowned as one of the most consistent performers on the ATP Tour and has been a permanent member of the top 20 ranking club since 2005.

Ferrer is one of the quickest men around the court and is extremely fit. He has been a vital member of Spain’s Davis Cup team over the years.

As well as his two titles this year, Ferrer also reached the final in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Nice, Shanghai and Bastad. On top of this he made the semifinal in Tokyo, the quarterfinals in Miami and Madrid, and the round of 16 at the remaining three Grand Slams.

Heineken marketing manager Luke Rive is excited about having Ferrer and Verdasco in Auckland for the 2012 Heineken Open saying the calibre of the players combined with the recent completion of the ASB Tennis Centre sets the scene for the best tournament yet.

“Also back for its fourth year is the Heineken Open Baseline After Party. Once again it’s going to be the fixture of the early January social calendar. It’s a great way to ease into the New Year and celebrate a week of great tennis. It will definitely be the place to be on Saturday 14 January.”

Tickets for the 2012 Heineken Open went on sale yesterday from Ticketek.

All centre court games for the Heineken Open will be screened live on SKY Sports. The action will run uninterrupted from the start of play at 1pm each day through until the last game of the day.