On-fire Ferrer and fresh faces feature in 2012 Heineken Open
An on-fire No.1 seed, two players in the world’s top 10, and a youngster with four junior Grand Slams are the highlights of the 2012 Heineken Open full field announced today.
Defending champion and No. 1 seed David Ferrer is in some of the best form of his career after last week making the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals upsetting world No.1 Novak Djokovic and world No.4 Andy Murray on the way.
The world No.5 is joined by fellow Spaniard and world No. 10 Nicolas Almagro as the highest ranked players in Auckland when they take to the courts in the Panasonic Singles from 9-14 January 2012.
The two regular visitors to Auckland will line up against a crop of new faces at the Heineken Open led by former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco and promising young American Donald Young.
The four-time junior Grand Slam champion is starting to fulfil the promise he showed as a junior finishing the season ranked 39 after reaching the fourth round of this year’s US Open. Young rose to No.73 in the world as an 18-year-old and was the youngest player in the top 100.
Heineken Open Tournament Director Richard Palmer is thrilled with the current form of Ferrer and excited about the new faces coming to Auckland.
“Ferrer was one of the only players to beat Djokovic this year so he’s in some pretty impressive form as he heads to Auckland. And I’m sure both Verdasco and Young will be crowd pleasers with their emotive styles.”
Palmer is also keen to clap his eyes on the next top junior coming out of America in Ryan Harrison. He is one of only two teenagers in the top 100 and Palmer is happy to part with a much sought after wildcard for him.
Another player of note is former world No.5 Fernando Gonzalez who is using his protected ranking of 55 after returning from injury.
The Heineken Open’s eight seeds are all in the top 39 in the world and the cut off point for the 19 direct acceptances is a world ranking of 67.
The other five seeds after Ferrer, Almagro and Verdasco are Argentinian Juan Monaco (4), who will be returning for his seventh appearance in Auckland, his countryman Juan Ignacio Chela (5), the lofty South African Kevin Anderson (6), Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci (7) and Young (8).
Heineken Marketing Manager Luke Rive can’t wait for the action to get underway.
“With two in the top 10 and some great depth we will again have a fantastic main draw. We are really looking forward to kicking off the new year with another high energy Heineken Open.”
The full field is as follows:
5. DAVID FERRER (ESP)
10. NICOLAS ALMAGRO (ESP)
24. FERNANDO VERDASCO (ESP)
26. JUAN MONACO (ARG)
29. JUAN IGNACIO CHELA (ARG)
32. KEVIN ANDERSON (RSA)
37. THOMAZ BELLUCCI (BRA)
39. DONALD YOUNG (USA)
43. PHILIPP KOHLSCHREIBER (GER)
50. JUAN CARLOS FERRERO (ESP)
51. TOMMY ROBREDO (ESP)
53. ALBERT MONTANES (ESP)
55. SANTIAGO GIRALDO (COL)
*55. FERNANDO GONZALEZ (CHI)
58. POTITO STARACE (ITA)
60. CARLOS BERLOCQ (ARG)
65. GUILLERMO GARCIA-LOPEZ (ESP)
66. ALBERT RAMOS (ESP)
67. OLIVIER ROCHUS (BEL)
W/C RYAN HARRISON (USA)
* Protected Entry
Tickets for the tournament, and the Heineken Baseline After Party, are now on sale through Ticketek.
Performing at the Heineken Baseline After Party on Saturday 14 January will be acclaimed Kiwi band The Phoenix Foundation alongside musician Barnaby Weir, formerly of the Black Seeds and Fly My Pretties. Tickets cost just $30 which includes viewing of the Heineken Open final on a big screen on the back courts ahead of the party kicking off.
All centre court games for the Heineken Open will be screened live on SKY Sport. The action will run uninterrupted from the start of play at 1pm each day through until the last game of the day.
Heineken encourages responsible consumption at the 2012 Heineken Open through its ‘Enjoy Heineken Responsibly’ campaign. This global initiative aims to inform and educate consumers about the safe and responsible consumption of alcohol. As well as ‘Enjoy Responsibly’ messaging on all Heineken promotional material, the brand also operates www.enjoyheinekenresponsibly.com which is full of practical information, advice and useful guidelines about enjoying Heineken responsibly.