8 Jan 2019

Star Studded Line-up for Big Wednesday

by Rhonda Karl
Star Studded Line-up for Big Wednesday

Our four top seeds will headline big Wednesday at the ASB Classic.

Top seed and world number 10 comes back to Auckland this year with some of the best results of his career, including winning his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in Miami and reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon. The two-time ASB Champion, finished inside the top ten last year and qualified for the ATP finals.

With one of the biggest serves on tour, Isner takes on fellow American Taylor Fritz in the opening match of the day session. Fritz is young, talented and on the rise, he’s part of the next generation of players on tour and broke inside the top 50 reaching a career high ranking of 47 last year. This could be the match of the day!

Second seed and Italian number one Fabio Fognini also comes to Auckland in red hot form, with a current world ranking of 13. The passionate Italian has captured eight ATP World Tour titles, three of them in 2018 and he’s determined to continue his winning form in 2019.

31-year old Fognini is one of the most entertaining guys on tour, showcasing that typical Italian flair on court, he takes on German Peter Gojowczyk on centre court.

Third seed Marco Cecchinato gets his first hit out in Auckland tomorrow against American Tennys Sandgren on Grandstand. The Italian came out of nowhere last season and shocked the tennis world by beating Novak Djokovic in four sets at Roland Garros to become the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1978. “Ceck” rose 90 placings to reach his career best ranking of 19 in October.

The other notable clash in tomorrow’s day session must be ex-pat Kiwi Cam Norrie who is up against Portuguese Joao Sousa. Sousa beat teen sensation Denis Shapovalov in three sets last night and is looking very sharp, but Norrie will take comfort he’s in the best form of his career and he’ll be surrounded by friends and family in the crowd.

It’s a Spanish affair to start our evening session. Fourth seed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta steps out on court for his first match of the tournament against fellow Spaniard and crowd favourite David Ferrer. The Maestro chose Auckland as part of his farewell tour this season, and with four titles already at the ASB Classic, Ferrer sits alongside Australian Roy Emerson as the tournament’s most successful ever champion.

Our local hero Rubin Statham will close out the evening session, taking on German Jan-Lennard Struff. If Statham can continue his giant killing ways, it will be one night to remember!


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