Date : October 14, 2010
MALAYSIAN OPEN, KUALA LUMPUR 2010 SCORES HIGH PRAISE FROM ATP WORLD TOUR

The recently concluded Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2010, ATP 250 World Tour tournament, held at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from Sep 25 �V Oct 3 scored brilliantly and earned high praise in the ATP World Tour Supervisors report recently handed over to Tournament Director Nick Freyer.

The report is a highly detailed evaluation of all aspects of the tournament covering player satisfaction, technical components such as the lighting, court surface and room layout, stadium audio and branding, marketing, promotions and public relations of the tournament, correct adherence to the full gamut of ATP 250 standards, medical compliance, linesmen and ball-boy quality and many other aspects.

"A Tournament Director receiving the supervisors report is akin to a school boy receiving your school report. You never know the final scores until the report is handed to you and you are always a little nervous. It is indeed an honour to see that the players and Tour staff have rated us amongst the very best after only two years. Kudos must go to all involved in the tournament that we have received such an outstanding report with high praise. This only motivates us to innovate and take standards higher next year. Our internal review is already well advanced to achieve this," said a very pleased Freyer.

Indeed, many aspects of the tournament were excellently executed and met, and in most cases surpassed, standards that are set and strictly enforced by the ATP Tour world-wide.

Live scoring and statistics for all matches, including matches played on Court 1, were superbly provided for and available online at the tournament website (www.malaysianopentennis.com) with up-to-the-minute updates. The tournament website itself is considered one of the best of any tournament on the Tour.

The Centre Court set-up was a step up in quality from the year before, with a better foundation and lighting, improved scoreboards and great music from the resident DJ, a feature the crowd and all the ATP staff truly appreciated.

"Excellent court. Very professionally laid out and dressed. Surface was better this year... Good to have the same DJ back as his changeover music was tasteful and stimulating," ATP Supervisor Tom Barnes commented in the report. He also commended the tournament for its high level of transparency, excellent communication and the friendliness and professionalism of all staff. "You have an excellent team here and they love working here and it shows. You are the "happy tournament" he said.

Additionally, the on-site medical and treatment staff and other player services such as racket stringing, court-services, player transportation and airport greetings were singled out as being world-class adding to the exceptional satisfaction of the players during their stays in Kuala Lumpur.

Players also enjoyed VIP treatment at the two players lounges available at the stadium, especially the upper lounge that served excellent food and provided an array of leisure activities, including a pool table, tournament photo gallery, live monitors showing all matches, a self serve coffee bar that made 350 cups of coffee for the players in 4 days and daily in-lounge baked treats such as brownies and cookies.

"Great food was served to all players and guests during the day and (it was) a great place to relax... the players and staff enjoyed the VIP treatment they received immensely," the report read.

Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych, Mikhail Youzhny, Marcos Baghdatis, and Nikolay Davydenko all commented on how well they were treated, how relaxed they felt in KL and how the hospitality offered on-site and at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel was some of the finest they were able to enjoy all year.

The media were provided extensive access to the marquee players with a number of photo-ops with the tournament's top seeds organised around the city. The media also participated as well through a special media tennis tournament held in the specially constructed practice court facility, allowing various local and regional editors, journalists and photographers to truly get into the spirit of the event.

Off the court, the Malaysian Open once again proved to be a well-organised tournament that provided exceptionally well for the participating players.

While last year's inaugural Malaysian Open required players to travel some distance to nearby practice courts, the 2010 edition spared no expense in increasing convenience with the set up of a specially crafted indoor fully air-conditioned practice court facility right next to the stadium.

The tournament's official hotel, The Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, located in the heart of the city and next to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, was also praised and rated in the report as "one of the best on the tour." Players enjoyed its 5-star facilities and were able to immerse themselves in the city's culture with the high availability of food and entertainment in the vicinity.

"It's a fantastic hotel. One of the best on the tour. The hotel is convenient to shops, restaurants and other entertainment around the city. Very well located and players enjoyed staying close to the city with plenty of entertainment around them. This is a five star hotel with excellent services," added Tom Barnes in the report.

The players' delight with their accommodation must have inspired their performances, as the event also proved a great treat for tennis fans, culminating after a third set tie-break finish on Sunday with the image of Mikhail Youzhny's cheeky post-victory Russian salute after winning the singles title, the second Russian tournament Champion in succession.

The tournament main draw was in itself a matter of pride, featuring a spectacularly strong field (for an ATP 250 tournament) with five players out of the ATP Tour World Rankings, including Davydenko, Soderling, Berdych, the number nine ranked Youzhny, as well as the #10 ranked Spaniard David Ferrer.

Even the tournament wild card entries generated great buzz, showcasing the 2009 World Junior No.1 Yuki Bhambri from India, Australian prodigy Bernard Tomic and 20-year-old Japanese teen sensation Kei Nishikori, who drew throngs of fans throughout his short stay. Adding some local flavour was Si Yew Ming, the reigning Malaysian number one who also received a main draw wild-card.

The doubles draw was also impressive, with the previous year's Polish champions and world number eleven pair Mariusz Frystenberg and Marcin Matkowski losing in the final to the Czech-Slovakian duo of Frantisek Cermak and Michal Mertinak, who were only a single world ranking below their opponents at number twelve.

Last year's singles defending champion Nikolay Davydenko also mixed it up a little in the doubles, creating history for Malaysian tennis by entering the competition as a wild card together with fast improving Malaysian upstart, 17-year-old Nazim Khan Mahmood Khan.

All main draw singles matches from Monday to Sunday played on Centre Court were broadcast live on ASTRO SuperSport whilst the quarter-final, semi-final and finals were broadcast in over 40 countries.

Standout performances from qualifiers dominated the early rounds, with fast serving 19-year-old Canadian Milos Raonic taking out seventh seed Sergei Stakhovsky and Igor Andreev serving up the first major shock of the tournament, ousting Russian compatriot Nikolay Davydenko in the defending champion's first match in the second round.

But the revelation of the tournament surely had to be world number 39 Andrey Golubev's incredible post-injury return to form as the eighth seeded Kazakh blazed past top seed Robin Soderling in the quarters and a dogged Ferrer in the semi-finals, defeating both his higher ranked opponents in straight sets.

While audience attendances, especially for matches in the early rounds, could have been markedly better, the relaxed and warm atmosphere, incredible facilities, exciting on court entertainment which included the daily catch the ball promotions, giant racket and ball tennis demonstrations, giving out a new car to one lucky winner, popular behind the scenes videos, a new event emcee, great music and lots of on-site food combined with an array of fantastic matches, made for a highly successful tournament.

"(It was an) excellent event. Very capably organised and operated by Nick Freyer and his team with the very able assistance of (technical director) Paul Moreno," the report concluded.

It would seem that the third edition of the Malaysian Open in 2011 can only get better.

 

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