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Heineken Open: TV2 To Provide Full Coverage

Heineken Open: TV2 To Provide Full Week Of Live Coverage

TV2 announced today it will extend its live coverage of the 2002 Heineken Open to include the full week of tennis due to the calibre of players and unprecedented public interest.

The Heineken Open, featuring the Vodafone singles and doubles, was scheduled to screen only three of the six days live on TV2, however, tennis fans around the country will now be able to view all six days live from Monday January 7 to Saturday January 12, 2002.

In addition to each day's live coverage One News at six will show highlights and on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights of tournament week will front their nightly sports news live from the Heineken Open. A full highlights package will also screen on TV2 nightly from 10.30pm to 11.30pm.

TVNZ's executive producer of tennis, Steve Coates, says the decision to go live for the full week was made due to an extremely strong field, high public expectation and the chance to offer top summer sport action on TV2.

Tickets to the Heineken Open are still available from Monday January 7 to Friday January 11 while Finals Day, on Saturday January 12, 2002, has sold out.

The 2002 tournament is primed to be the best since Heineken became involved four years ago with media commentary suggesting it has become New Zealand's pre-eminent summer experience.

Well-known sports reporter and media commentator for Newstalk ZB, Bob South, believes the 2002 Heineken Open has contributed hugely to raising the profile of tennis in New Zealand and the profile of New Zealand among the world's top tennis players.

"The organisers of the Heineken Open have done a fantastic job of attracting the world's elite players to New Zealand relying on the country's home grown charm and hospitality," Mr South says.

"They have discovered that by putting on a friendly competitive event, most professionals choose to come here not because of appearance fees but because they actually generally want to."

Some of the world's most exciting players including seventh-ranked Russian Marat Safin; British number two Greg Rusedski; Dutch number one Sjeng Schalken; Croatian Goran Ivanisevic; and Americans Michael Chang and Jan-Michael Gambill, are confirmed to play ensuring this year's tournament will showcase the highest calibre of tennis this country has ever seen.

Adding to the increasing the statue of the Heineken Open is TV2's commentary line-up. April Ieremia will be the network's anchor while expert commentary by be provided ex-NBC Sports commentator, Bud Collins, broadcaster, Andrew Saville, and former New Zealand Tennis champion, Brett Stevens.

Sports and fitness guru, Suzy Aiken, will return courtside to MC the event for the third consecutive year.

Heineken has also invested additional money in upgrading the hospitality facilities at the tournament, namely the Heineken Summer House, ensuring that a premium world-class event including great matches, live music, fine fashion and refreshments will be brought to New Zealand.

ENDS

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