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Popular Brit Greg Rusedski Returns

British number two, Greg Rusedski is set to take on the world’s best again at the Heineken Open in 2002, 7-12 January.

The popular lefthander who has the fastest serve in professional tennis will return to Auckland and the Vodafone singles where he made such an impression with the crowd and the tournament under trying conditions earlier this year.

Rusedski has beaten almost all of the top players this year as well as winning at San Jose where he dispatched Andre Agassi in straight sets in the final and Lleyton Hewitt in the quarterfinals. Rusedski has a current entry ranking of 29 and looks likely to finish inside the top 30 on the 2001 Race Rankings.

Aside from San Jose, which was his 10th career singles title, he was a semifinalist on three occasions, including the Heineken Open. He also made three quarterfinals and the fourth round of the Australian Open, beating top seed Gustavo Kuerten in the second round, 9-7 in the fifth set.

His Auckland experience proved to be a tiring affair. In the first round he beat Kiwi Mark Nielsen and then played a dramatic series of three matches, including victories over Byron Black and Stefan Koubek, within the space of 23 hours.

Rusedski ended his run fatigued after the late night’s and rain interruptions with a loss to Francisco Clavet in the semifinals.

Tournament Director Graham Pearce said, “The tournament is thrilled to have Greg returning for the second year in a row. He was a crowd favourite at the 2001 Heineken Open and is bound to have a great following in 2002".

In the past Rusedski has been ranked inside the top ten players, reaching a high of 4th in 1997 after making the final of the US Open. He was also a quarterfinalist at Wimbledon in the same year and has earned over $16,000,000 in prizemoney.

Rusedski joins in-form Russian, Marat Safin as the players named so far for the Heineken Open 2002.


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