Star Trio Announced For the Heineken Open
Star Trio Announced For the Heineken Open, Plus the Inaugural NZ Festival of Tennis Launches
Tennis Auckland is excited to announce the inaugural NZ Festival of Tennis, taking place from December 28, 2013 – January 11, 2014. The festival is a celebration of tennis, and the great Kiwi Summer, anchored by two marquee events, the ASB Classic and the Heineken Open.
In a year full of new announcements, the most exciting new off-court initiative is Tennis Auckland’s new food and beverage partnership. In an event-first, SkyCity Catering will offer an elevated hospitality experience where guests will be able to choose from a host of pop-up restaurants including on-site offerings from top Auckland restaurant The Grill by Sean Connolly and Al Brown’s Best Ugly Bagels. Internationally renowned Kiwi chef Peter Gordon will also be designing menus for the corporate suites and player lounge.
Other key initiatives for the 2013/14 season include a two-week ‘Heineken Baseline’ live site, accessed using the all-new Ground Pass. The ground pass enables fans to watch every match live on a giant screen, live tennis on courts two and four, and enjoy daily music performances, entertainment offerings, premium dining and more – much like that of the outdoor hospitality area at the Australian Open.
“We are hugely excited to announce the NZ Festival of Tennis concept. To have Auckland’s best restaurants, iconic music acts and the world’s best athletes all for just fifteen dollars is pretty special,” says Tournament Director, Karl Budge.
Heineken Open and ASB Classic fans will also be able to plan their week, with the move from all-day tickets to day and night sessions. Tickets will be sold individually for the two sessions, meaning guests can celebrate the spectacle and excitement of the tournaments when it suits them – whether it’s a day off work, or a night out with friends.
The Heineken Open will kick off on January 6, 2014, welcoming a plethora of talent from around the world. Headlining the tournament is four-time Heineken Open champion, David Ferrer, back to defend his 2013 title. The French Open finalist and current world number four has had another super consistent season, and his agile, fast style is always a spectacle on centre court. And tennis fans won’t want to miss his attempt to make history; if Ferrer claims the 2014 title, he will surpass the feats of Australian legend Roy Emerson in the 1960’s, to become the greatest ever champion at the Heineken Open, which will be a special day in the tournament’s history.
Joining Ferrer is the tour’s resident entertainer, Gaël Monfils. A former French number one and quarter finalist at three of the four Slams, Monfils will bring with him a powerful and aggressive style of play that is always thrilling to watch.
The Heineken Open is also pleased to announce that it will welcome South African, Kevin Anderson, to the 2014 tournament. Anderson started the year at number 37, and has victories against David Ferrer at Indian Wells and Milos Raonic at Roland Garros, which has seen him progress up the rankings to current world number 21. Anderson is coached by former NZ Davis Cup player, GD Jones, who has no doubt contributed to his consistency this year.
“Ferrer is a player of the highest quality, he’s such a thrill to watch and has been very loyal to our tournament,” says Budge.
“Anderson has had a great year and we’re excited to have him back at the tournament. To have Monfils back will be amazing. He sold out every session he played last year and I am sure that will be the case again this year. He is such an entertainer and brings a lot of excitement to the field.”
With these three massive names, the Heineken Open is set to be an absolute highlight on the summer sporting calendar, bringing New Zealanders up close and personal with the world’s best.