WELLINGTON, Nov 25 (Reuters) Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero has been confirmed for next year's Auckland Open tournament, organisers said today.
Spaniard Ferrero has been joined in the draw by compatriots Nicolas Almagro and beaten Masters Cup finalist and 2007 Auckland champion David Ferrer.
''Juan Carlos is a popular player returning to Auckland for the fourth time,'' tournament director Graham Pearce told the New Zealand Press Association.
''He continues to show he's one of the more competitive and consistent players around. His result at Wimbledon this year also proves he's more than comfortable on all surfaces.
''Both Juan Carlos and Nicolas compliment the fact we have David Ferrer heading the field.'' Ferrero is currently ranked 24th in the world and made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year.
World number five Ferrer is the highest-ranked player for the tournament. He finished runner-up to world number one Roger Federer in the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai earlier this month.
The Auckland tournament, which is one of the traditional warm-up events for the Australian Open grand slam that begins on Jan 14, will be held from Jan 7.
Reuters TB VP0446