MEDIA RELEASE 29 November 2001
BEST EVER CUT-OFF COMPLETES CLASSIC FIELD
The official entry list for the ASB BANK Classic will have the best ever ranking cut off for the tournament which has established itself as the highest quality tier four, US$140,000 event around the world.
Scheduled for 31 December 2001 - 5 January 2002 the cut-off for the main draw is 83, with fast improving Andriana Serra-Zanetti the last player given direct entry.
Aside from stars such as former world number two Conchita Martinez who is on her way back after injury and Anna Kournikova, the world number eight in February who is also on her comeback trail at age 20. There are plenty of other talented players in the field.
Barbara Rittner won her second career title by taking out the Antwerp tournament and also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open, while Spaniards, Angeles Montolio and Anabel Medina Garrigues have cut their end of year rankings in half.
Montolio finished 2000 as the 60th ranked player with a career high of 42. She now will be the top seed with a ranking of 23.
Medina Garrigues was ranked 114 but has now improved dramatically to 65. The 19 year old made the semifinals of Madrid and Antwerp as well as winning three doubles titles.
Also notable is the inclusion of Rachel McQuillian who at 29 years of age has plenty of experience and is aiming for her first singles title after being a finalist on six different occasions. She has beaten numerous top ten players as well as excelling in doubles with four titles.
Other players to watch for are Tatiana Poutchek from Belarus, former Auckland doubles winner Janette Husarova, and Martina Sucha who qualified for the tournament in Bratislava and won through to the final.
Although some of the names may be new to the public Tournament Director Richard Palmer says it doesn't mean they won't be hitting the headlines in the very near future and causing upsets at the ASB BANK Classic this year.
"It's good to have a lot of new faces coming to Auckland. It's a very even field with a lot of players who have improved their ranking dramatically in the past 12 months."
Tickets for the 2002 ASB BANK Classic are selling fast with the Tuesday-Wednesday package all but sold out and the remaining days close behind.
PLAYERS ENTERED INTO THE 2002 ASB BANK CLASSIC
1 Angeles Montolio (Spain) 23
2 Henrieta Nagyova (Slovakia) 25
3 Anne Kremer (Luxembourg) 33
4 Conchita Martinez (Spain) 35
5 Tatianova Panova (Russia) 40
6 Meilen Tu (USA) 45
7 Amy Frazier (USA) 48
8 Mariana Diaz-Olivia (Argentina) 53
9 Jennifer Hopkins (USA) 57
10 Caro Black (Zimbabwe) 58
11 Anabel Medina Garrigues (Spain) 65
12 Martina Sucha (Slovakia) 66
13 Barbara Rittner (Germany) 68
14 Emmanuelle Gagliardi (Switzerland) 69
15 Rachel McQuillan (Australia) 70
16 Anna Kournikova (Russia) 74
17 Janette Husarova (Slovakia) 75
18 Tatiana Poutchek (Belarus) 76
19 Maja Matevzic (Slovenia) 79
20 Khristina Brandi (USA) 81
21 Slima Sfar (Tunisia) 82
22 Andriana Serra-Zanetti (Italy) 83
23 Winner of Pittsburg US$50,000 event - Alina Jidkova (Russia) 106
24 Winner of Dallas US$50,000 event - Milagros Sequera (Venezuela) 153
25 Winner of Seoul US$50,000 event - Miho Saeki (Japan) 174
Plus Four Qualifiers
Plus Two Wildcards
Plus One Gold/Silver Wildcard
For more information please contact;
Tournament Director - Richard Palmer - 3733 623 or 021 675 006
Dave Worsley - 021 679 096