Latest 26 Nov 2012

Surprise finalist to feature at Heineken Open

Surprise finalist to feature at Heineken Open

The qualifier who shocked the tennis world by reaching last month’s Paris Masters final has confirmed he is coming to Auckland.

Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz beat five top 20-ranked players including US Open champion Andy Murray on the way to the Paris final, only to fall at the last hurdle to Heineken Open champion David Ferrer.

This time last year Janowicz sat at a world ranking of 220. The 22-year-old has not only broken into the top 100 and then the top 50, but he now sits inside that much sought after top 30 with a ranking of 26.

Heineken Open Tournament Director Karl Budge said it was great to be able to announce another new face for January’s tournament alongside top ATP newcomers Martin Klizan and David Goffin.

“Janowicz has had one of those seasons that most players only dream about. Players outside the top 50 simply don’t make the finals of masters level events. You only need to look at how long it took Ferrer to win one to see how treasured they are.

“Maybe the Heineken Open will be Janowicz’s chance for a rematch with our defending champion.”

Janowicz made his Grand Slam debut as a qualifier at Wimbledon this year and went through to the third round.

But Paris was where he made history. With a ranking of 69, Janowicz had to firstly qualify for the Masters tournament. Then he went on his giant killing run – beating three top 20 players and two top 10 players (Murray and Janko Tipsarevic) to reach his first tour title.

He was the first qualifier to reach an ATP Masters final since 2007, and the first qualifier to reach the Paris final for eight years. He was also the first player since 2000 to reach an ATP Masters final in his debut at this level.

If Janowicz can continue the form he showed in Paris and claim the Heineken Open title, he will be the first Pole to win an ATP title since 1982. And it could be a good couple of weeks for his homeland if ASB Classic top seed and fellow Pole Agnieszka Radwanska lives up to her billing and claims the women’s crown.

Budge recently confirmed ATP newcomer of the year Martin Klizan (Slovakia), ranked 30 in the world, was coming to Auckland as well as young Belgian David Goffin, who took a set of Roger Federer at Roland Garros.

World no. 5 Ferrer is the top seed for the Heineken Open and he will be attempting to win his third consecutive title. The full field of 20 players will be announced tomorrow.

The 2013 Heineken Open runs from 7-12 January 2013 and tickets are on sale through Ticketek.

All centre court matches for the Heineken Open will be screened live on SKY TV from the start of play at midday.