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Tournament Director Changes Announced

Media Release 10 April 2008

Tennis Auckland Announce Tournament Director Changes

Tennis Auckland today announced Tournament Director changes for the Heineken Open and ASB Classic international tennis tournaments.

Graham Pearce, CEO Tennis Auckland is stepping down as Tournament Director of the Heineken Open ATP tournament after 14 years in the role. Richard Palmer will take his place as Tournament Director of the Heineken Open and Brenda Perry will replace Richard as Tournament Director of the ASB Classic, WTA Tour event.

In announcing these changes, Graham Pearce commented “Richard has done an outstanding job as Tournament Director of the ASB Classic and Brenda has a lifetime of experience in WTA Tour tennis and tournaments. Tennis in Auckland is extremely fortunate to have such a depth of talent available to guide these two flagship events for our sport and I look forward to working closely with Brenda and Richard as through both tournaments we continue to deliver world class professional tennis to the people of New Zealand.”

Commenting on her appointment, Brenda says “I am thrilled to use my 30 years of international tennis knowledge and experience gained from the various WTA Tour roles held in International Operations and as a former Player, Tournament Director and top 100 Player Rep, to contribute to the continuing growth of the ASB Classic and women’s tennis in NZ.”

Graham Rouse, Marketing Manager Sponsorship ASB Bank said “Richard commenced his role as ASB Classic Tournament Director when ASB assumed naming rights of the event 12 years ago and we feel extremely fortunate to have benefited from this longevity. The quality of this working relationship has been a crucial factor in our collective efforts to grow the tournament year on year, culminating in the most successful ASB Classic ever earlier this year. We wish him well in his new appointment. We are delighted to welcome Brenda and look forward to working with her, we believe that her experience, networks and profile within women’s tennis globally will be a great asset to the ASB Classic.”

Heineken Sponsorship Manager, Peter Wills said he was more than happy with the changes in Tournament Directorship which he sees as a natural succession and fully supports today’s announcement.

“In welcoming Richard to his new role, I would like to acknowledge Graham’s outstanding management and professionalism over the past 10 years which has contributed to the growth and quality of the Heineken Open to where it is today, and I have confidence that Richard will continue this momentum in the years ahead” said Wills.

Richard Palmer looks forward to his new role, “It has been a pleasure to work with the ASB Bank and the players on the WTA Tour over the past 12 years. It will certainly be a change, but I am thrilled with the opportunity presented and look forward to working with Heineken and the ATP as we bring the best of men’s professional tennis to New Zealand at the Heineken Open.”

Graham Pearce remains Tournament Representative for the Heineken Open to the ATP and is starting a further 3 year term as an ATP Board Member.

Dates for the 2009 tournaments at the ASB Tennis Centre are:

ASB Classic 5 -10 January 2009 Heineken Open 12 -17 January 2009


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