JCF has also committed
Juan Carlos Ferrero to play in Auckland
27 November 2004
Former world tennis number one and French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero is the latest big name signing for the 2005 Heineken Open in Auckland in January, joining top ranked Argentine Guillermo Coria.
Spaniard Ferrero, 24, reached the top ranking in 2003 on the back of winning the French Open and after finishing runner-up to big-serving American Andy Roddick at the US Open.
Heineken tournament director Graham Pearce confirmed Ferrero would make his second trip to the Auckland tournament, following his 2000 visit when he defeated the-then unseeded Swiss Roger Federer 6-4 6-4 in the first round.
Ferrero progressed to the quarters before bowing out and this time will compete in both the singles and doubles.
"The field for the Heineken Open was already looking very strong and now with former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero it becomes one of the best ever," Pearce said.
"He is a classy top all round player."
Ferrero's current ranking sits at 31 after an injury plagued 2004. His best results have been a loss in the final of the Rotterdam Open to Australian Lleyton Hewitt and a semifinal loss in the year's first grand slam, the Australian Open, to Federer.
Already confirmed for the January 10-15 event are Coria (ranked seven in the world), Tommy Robredo (13), defending champion Dominik Hrbaty (14), Vince Spadea (19), Fernando Gonzalez (23) and 2004 beaten finalist Rafael Nadal (51).
It will be the 50th anniversary of the professional tennis event in Auckland.