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Wednesday July 11, 2012

Ferrer and Nishikori to play in Malaysian Open

PETALING JAYA: Tennis fans are in for another treat this year as world No. 5 David Ferrer and Japanese sensation Kei Nishikori have confirmed their participation for this year’s ATP Malaysian Open, which will be held at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, from Sept 22-30.

Clay court specialist Ferrer, who is the No. 2 Spaniard after Rafael Nadal, has had a fantastic year so far, winning four titles – the Heineken Open in Auckland, the Copa Claro (Buenos Aires), the Abierto Mexicano Telcel (Mexico) and the Unicef Open (Holland).

Ferrer also made the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and the recently ended Wimbledon as well as a breakthrough first semi-final at the French Open in May.

Clay court specialist : World No. 5 David Ferrer has confirmed his participation in the ATP Malaysian Open in September. — AFP

The 30-year-old Ferrer is no stranger to local fans, having competed in the 2009 and 2010 Malaysian Opens.

He was a first round casualty in 2009 before making the semi-finals two years ago.

“I had good experience playing in Malaysia twice and I’m really excited about coming back for this year’s tournament,” said Ferrer.

“I had a good year and I’m hoping to play good tennis in September. Hopefully, there will be a Spanish champion in Malaysia for the first time.”

Meanwhile, crowd favourite Nishikori is also looking forward to another fantastic experience in the Malaysian Open.

“I love the tournament in Malaysia, having played here for two years already and it feels like home and it is very organised. The local fans are also very nice and I’m really looking forward to coming back again,” said the 22-year-old.

Nishikori, who currently resides and trains in Florida, had an excellent tournament last year, reaching the semi-finals by beating top seed Nicolas Almagro along the way.

Nishokori ended 2011 ranked No. 25 in the world and became the first Japanese man in 80 years to make the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

He is currently the highest ranked Japanese at No. 18 in the world.

Two qualifying wild cards will be provided to local players in the singles event. There will be an opportunity for one or two locals to participate in the main draw of the doubles event as well.

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