Ferrer to use Auckland for final Australian Open warm-up

WELLINGTON Thu Nov 1, 2012 11:54am IST

Spain's David Ferrer returns the ball during a training session at the All England Lawn Tennis Club before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London July 23, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/Files

Spain's David Ferrer returns the ball during a training session at the All England Lawn Tennis Club before the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games in London July 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth/Files

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - World number five David Ferrer will complete his Australian Open preparations by seeking a record-equalling fourth Auckland Open title, organisers have said.

Spaniard Ferrer, who has enjoyed his best year on the ATP tour by winning six titles on four different surfaces, has captured the past two titles in Auckland, which concludes two days before the year's first grand slam begins in Melbourne.

The 30-year-old also reached at least the last eight at all four grand slam tournaments this season, the first time he has achieved the feat in his 12-year professional career.

Ferrer, who has won 17 career titles, has a proud pedigree on the courts of New Zealand's largest city, winning three times in eight visits.

If he claims the title at next year's tournament that runs from January 7-12, he will join Australia's Roy Emerson as the only four-time winners of the title. Emerson won in 1960 and then again from 1965-67.

"That will be a special day in the tournament's history," tournament director Karl Budge said when announcing Ferrer's decision to defend his title and seek to join Emerson.

Ferrer could also become the second player, after Emerson, to win the title in three successive years.

New Zealand's Onny Parun also won three Auckland titles in 1973, 1975 and 1976. He was beaten in the 1974 final by Bjorn Borg.

Former world number seven Mardy Fish, who has reached three grand slam quarter-finals in his career, has also been confirmed in the draw for Auckland, having last played in 2007, where he lost to eventual winner Ferrer in the semi-finals.

"He's an all court player with a strong net game, which will certainly add variety to an event normally dominated by the baseliners," Budge added of Fish.

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by John O'Brien)

Reuters Showcase

Micromax Stake

Micromax Stake

SoftBank-led group in talks to buy stake in Micromax - sources  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane on purpose, prosecutor says  Full Article 

Airwaves Auction

Airwaves Auction

Top three mobile operators spend $13.6 bln in airwaves auction  Full Article 

Twitter Video App

Twitter Video App

Twitter launches video streaming app Periscope  Full Article 

Yemen Attacked

Yemen Attacked

Yemeni leader Hadi leaves country as Saudi Arabia keeps up air strikes on Houthi rebels  Full Article 

FIFA Politics

FIFA Politics

FIFA taking the wrong approach to development, says Prince Ali   Full Article 

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey to wind up after sixth season, producer says  Full Article 

Photo

Amazon Fashion

Indian designers will create new products for online shoppers: Amazon India fashion head  Full Article 

Australia Beat India

Australia Beat India

Smith shines as Australia down India to reach final  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage