• Ferrer, Verdasco headline Heineken Open

    1/8/12 3:56 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Verdasco headline Heineken Open The Heineken Open will once again have a clay-court field as the Australian Open looms on the horizon. David Ferrer, Nicolas Almagro, Fernando Verdasco, and Juan Ignacio Chela have byes.

    As usual, a host of clay-courters will fine-tune their games for the first Grand Slam of the season at the Heineken Open.

    A pair of Top 10 players are in action, with David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro leading the way. Almagro, a Chennai semifinalist, could have a tough draw with Santiago Giraldo possibly in round two before a potential quarterfinal against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Ferrer, on a collision course with Donald Young for the quarters, has an easier path and has to be considered a huge favorite for the title.

    The top-seeded Spaniard, though, could run into countryman Fernando Verdasco in the semis. Verdasco's only real obstacle in the second quarter of the bracket is 6'7'' South African Kevin Anderson, who has been dealing with a knee injury.

    Juan Ignacio Chela is the No. 4 seed and joins Ferrero, Almagro, and Verdasco in the second round. The Argentine is in the weakest section of the draw, where there are no serious hard-court threats. However, Chela may have to open with former world No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero.

    One first-round match to watch in Auckland pits a pair of American wild cards against each other. Sam Querrey and Ryan Harrison will be going head-to-head with the winner likely meeting Kohlschreiber in round two.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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