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Current Wimbeldon Champion Confirmed For Open

MEDIA RELEASE 16 November 2001


For the first time ever a current Wimbledon singles champion will play in Auckland's ATP tournament the Heineken Open. Last night from the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney the larger than life Croatian Goran Ivanisevic confirmed his entry in the Vodafone Singles.

Ivanisevic has had a huge year and is currently ranked 13 in the players champions race. In addition to beating Patrick Rafter in the cliff hanger Wimbledon singles final Goran reached the semi finals at Indianapolis in August. His loss to Gustavo Kuerten, the current world number one player, in Indianapolis was reversed last Tuesday at the Tennis Masters Cup with Goran this time emerging victorious.

Graham Pearce, Heineken Open Tournament Director said, "Having the current Wimbledon champion play the Heineken Open is a dream come true. As a tournament director you are always working at assembling the best field possible and there is no doubt Goran is currently at the top of his game. Goran along with Marat Safin, Dominik Hrbaty and Greg Rusedski will provide the New Zealand tennis public with plenty of fast and furious tennis. Between them they account for 3 of the 7 fastest serves of all time ".

Tonight Goran will be playing for a place in the semi finals of the Tennis Masters Cup in Sydney. This event features the top 8 players in the world and will decide who finishes the year at number one.

His career earnings stand at over $46 million and will be boasted further this week. The 30-year-old Croatian has 22 singles titles and 9 doubles titles to his credit.

The Heineken Open featuring the Vodafone singles and doubles will be held at the ASB BANK Tennis Centre in Auckland from January 7-12, 2002.

MEDIA RELEASE 15 November 2001


Athletic Slovak, Dominik Hrbaty is set to return to the Heineken Open to defend his Vodafone Singles title in the 2002 tournament scheduled for 7-12 January.

Hrbaty will be the first defending singles titleholder for ten years to come back to the event, with Czech, Karel Novacek the last player to backup after his 1991 victory.

At the 2001 Heineken Open Hrbaty beat Spain's Francisco Clavet in a three set final which was enthralling for the big crowd at the ASB BANK Tennis Centre and proved just what a great competitor and powerful player he is.

Tournament Director Graham Pearce said, "This is great news to have the defending champion return. Dominik is a wonderful sportsman who demonstrates true determination and skill. You can guarantee he will do everything he can in his attempt to retain his Vodafone Singles title".

Aside from his victory in Auckland he went on to have a solid year in 2001. The next week after Auckland at the Australian Open he beat Clavet again on his way to the quarterfinals also dispatching Marat Safin in the fourth round.

He made three semifinals - Dubai, Tashkent and Moscow, where he beat Safin again and progressed to the last eight of the claycourt event in Estoril, Portugal.

The previous two years have been standouts for Hrbaty results wise. He reached the semifinals of Roland Garros and took the title at Prague in 1999 and made three finals in 2000.

Still only 23 years old Hrbaty has been targeted as a player to watch for a long time. As far back as 1996 he was named as the ATP Tour newcomer of the year and is coached by former pro Marian Vajda who played in Auckland on several occasions.

Hrbaty joins Russian Marat Safin and Brit, Greg Rusedski as the players announced for the 2002 Heineken Open so far.

The Heineken Open featuring the Vodafone singles and doubles will be held at the ASB BANK Tennis Centre in Auckland from January 7-12, 2002.

For more information please contact:

Graham Pearce or Dave Worsley, Media Manager 021 679 096

Heineken Open Tournament Director 3733 623

or mobile 021 675 005

© Scoop Media

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