MEDIA RELEASE Wednesday 24 October 2001
Big Name For Heineken Open 2002
Russian star Marat Safin who ended the 2000 champions race at number two in the world and was the winner of last years
US Open title has been confirmed as an entrant for the Heineken Open 2002 scheduled for 7-12 January.
Tournament Director Graham Pearce said, "One of the world’s most exciting tennis players is coming to Auckland to take
part in the 2002 Heineken Open and play in the Vodafone singles".
Safin, aged 21 is currently in 11th place in the year-end player race and this week on the entry ranking list is
seventh, one behind fellow Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
After overcoming injury problems earlier this year the Moscow native proceeded to put in some good performances in the
big events. Safin made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon before being beaten by Goran Ivanisevic. At Indianapolis he
reached the semifinals going down to Pat Rafter He then progressed to the semifinals of the US Open losing to Pete
The following week he won at Tashkent and just recently made the semifinals of Lyon.
2000 was a marquee year for Safin as he won seven titles, including the US Open, and two Masters Series events - Toronto
and Paris for a total of nine career titles. He also topped the list of aces in 2000 with 921 and is known as one of the
hardest groundstoke hitters.
Safin challenged for the world number one at the Tennis Masters Cup in Lisbon in November 2000 after good results
indoors in Europe and is tipped to be a future world number one.
Former world number one, Mats Wilander of Sweden, currently coaches him and is expected to travel with him to Auckland.
It will be Safin’s second time to Auckland. In 1999 as an 18-year-old he played in the Heineken Open winning his first
round over Gianlucca Pozzi of Italy before being beaten by Kiwi star Brett Steven in the second round.
The Heineken Open featuring the Vodafone singles and doubles will be held at the ASB BANK Tennis Centre in Auckland from
January 7-12, 2002.
For more information please contact:
Graham Pearce or Dave Worsley, Media Manager
Heineken Open Tournament Director 021 679 096
3733 623 or mobile 021 675 005