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Seven Top 30 Players Confirmed For Auckland

Auckland, New Zealand

Haas© AFP/Getty ImagesTommy Haas was a finalist in Auckland in 1999.

Former World No. 2 Tommy Haas will continue his remarkable comeback at next year’s Heineken Open.

The addition of Haas and fellow German Philipp Kohlschreiber, the 2008 champion, were announced Wednesday as the Heineken Open’s full field was revealed.

Along with confirmation of 2009 finalist Sam Querrey and former World No. 8 Jurgen Melzer, they take the number of Top 30 players for next year’s tournament to a total of seven.

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Haas was recently named ATP Comeback Player of the Year as he rocketed from outside the Top 200 to reach a ranking of 21, while Kohlschreiber has had his best season yet.

After making the semi-finals in Auckland, Kohlschreiber went on to his fourth ATP World Tour title in Munich, made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon and reached a career-high World No. 16.

Heineken Open Tournament Director Karl Budge says he’s excited about the number of players coming to Auckland who are in some of the best form of their careers including defending champion David Ferrer.

“Tommy is showing, like Ferrer and Federer, that age is no barrier. To get to 21 in the world is a great feat. And Kohlschreiber has had his best year on tour reaching No. 16 in the world. He comes back for his ninth Heineken Open playing his best tennis yet.

“I don’t need to say much more about Ferrer beyond stating that he won more titles than any other player on tour this year with a career best seven.”

Budge says that when you add Melzer to the mix, you might start to think that the older brigade will have a mortgage on next year’s title.

“However, I suspect that the world’s top newcomer Martin Klizan and the Paris Masters giant killer Jerzy Janowicz will add plenty of young fire to the contest.”

Heineken NZ National Sponsorship Manager Peter Wills says they are delighted with the depth of the main draw for the 2013 Heineken Open.

“With David returning to defend his title, along with former World No. 2 Tommy Haas, and the number of rising stars in the field, this certainly bodes well for the future of the tournament. It would truly be a momentous occasion if David can win his fourth Auckland title, equalling the great Roy Emerson’s achievement.”

Haas was a finalist in Auckland in 1999 and since then he has gone on to win 13 titles and make four Grand Slam semi-finals.

Querrey, who will be making his fourth visit to Auckland, collected one of the biggest wins of his career last month when he knocked over Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters.

World No. 5 Ferrer (Spain) is the tournament’s top seed, followed by Kohlschreiber (20), Haas (21), USA’s Querrey (22), Poland’s Janowicz (26), Austria’s Melzer (29) and ATP Newcomer of the Year Klizan of Slovakia (30).

Also announced today was Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci who sits just outside the top 30 at 33 in the world. He will be playing in Auckland for the fifth time.

Former World No. 7 Mardy Fish has had to withdraw from the tournament for health reasons.

The 2013 Heineken Open field has a cut-off of 61 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, and includes players from 14 nations.

Budge also welcomed a new major sponsor to the tournament family today with BMW coming on board.

“It is really positive to see one of the world’s most premium brands seeing the value in partnering with our two iconic summer events”.

BMW National Sales and Marketing Manager Greg Hedgepeth says BMW is excited to be the official vehicle partner of the Heineken Open and the ASB Classic.

“To have the world’s best players competing right here in New Zealand is fantastic and as the world’s leading automotive brand, BMW is looking forward to being involved with these premier events.”

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.

Check out the Heineken Open website at www.heinekenopen.co.nz 

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