Johannesburg, South Africa
October 7, 2008
Ferrer, Tsonga Bound For SA Open At Montecasino
World No. 5 David Ferrer (pictured) and this year’s Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will compete at the SA Open to be played in Johannesburg at Montecasino from February 2-8, 2009. Next season’s event will represent the first time a full Tour tournament has been played in South Africa since 1995.
"One of our goals at the South African Tennis Association (SATA) has been to put tennis back in its rightful place in the country,'' said SATA CEO and Tournament Director, Ian Smith. "South Africa has always had a proud tennis tradition and years ago the South African Open was considered to be one of the highlights of the world tennis calendar. This is just the start. We already have some top players keen to come to South Africa and SATA remain committed to growing this event each year."
Brad Drewett, CEO ATP Tour International Region, said the Tour was delighted to be back in South Africa. "The return of men's professional tennis to South Africa epitomizes the global nature of the ATP World Tour and it is great to see that South Africa's passionate sports fans will have the opportunity to see live world-class tennis in 2009. I am sure that Ian Smith and the South African Tennis Association, along with the support of South African Airways, the official airline carrier of the event, and Montecasino, will stage a high-quality tournament that will allow some of the game's best athletes to showcase their talents and strengthen the ATP's presence in a key global market."
Said Tsonga: "I'm really looking forward to playing in Johannesburg next year. The African continent is very close to my heart and I can't wait to entertain everyone during the 2009 South African Open at Montecasino."