Press Release – In its fourth year on Malaysian soil, the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2012 enjoyed one of its best ever showcases at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil from September 22 to 30, 2012.
Malaysian fans were privy to some of the most exciting tennis matches ever put on display in Kuala Lumpur, including an intense fitting three hour and 4 minute singles finale, which saw second seed Juan Monaco of Argentina take top honours in an emotionally charged 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 victory against Frenchman Julien Benneteau. The match featured the longest ever game tie-breaker in Kuala Lumpur, lasting over 19 minutes and over 15 advantages swinging back and forth between players.
The doubles final was equally exciting as third seeded doubles pair Austrian Alexander Peya and Brazilian Bruno Soares came from a set down to clinch their first ever doubles title together in a nail-biting 5-7, 7-5 (10-7) super-tie breaker victory over the un-seeded Great Britain pairing of Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins.
Attendances had increased greatly from past years, as the final three days saw almost 15,000 people head down for a spectacle of tennis they would not soon forget, while Sunday’s attendance of 5,300 was the best ever seen in KL.
Part of the heightened appeal came from the most internationally diverse field of players the tournament has ever featured – with participants from over 24 countries across five continents arriving – along with several marquee names gracing the courts, such as David Ferrer, Juan Monaco, Kei Nishikori, Feliciano Lopez and Alexandr Dolgopolov.
“It has been the most exciting, most attended and most diverse tournament we have had. Tournament staff personally met tourists from Australia, Spain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Switzerland, Hawaii, China, the Philippines, Egypt, the USA, Singapore, Argentina, Japan, Austria, the UK and Germany, who had come down to watch the Malaysian Open,” said Tournament Director Nick Freyer of IMG, organisers of the event since inception.
The tournament was also notable for marking Malaysian history as Si Yew Ming became the first local to win a match in an ATP 250 tournament and the Malaysian wildcard performances indicated significant improvement in local standards.
Accordingly, to further boost the appeal of the sport in the young generation, over 2,000 students were introduced to professional tennis via a high impact and highly successful schools visit programme. One of the touching stories of the 2012 tournament was two bus-loads of university students who took an overnight road trip from Perlis to visit the event.
The tournament also continued in its tradition of giving away fantastic prizes for visitors and fans, with exclusive luxury Rado watches being given away during the weekend through audience interactive “Catch The Ball Challenge” held after every centre-court match.
The tournament was broadcast live and delayed in High Definition to over 350 million people across the world, complete with Malaysian Truly Asia Hawkeye branding, over its final four days. In Malaysia, Astro broadcast over 100 hours of the tournament domestically.
“We know because of the length of the final match, it overran on many television stations throughout the world, onto other programming. In the UK, it overran onto live Serie A football programming, but ESPN UK choose to continue its live transmission of the Malaysian Open. I think that was a great tribute to the blockbuster quality of the match and the tournament,” said Nick Freyer.
ATP Supervisor Tom Barnes was equally glowing in his tournament report once again, extensively praising the courts, staff, hotel, food, player hospitality, services and massage therapists as among the best on tour.
“Very good teamwork and results. Everything needed for the players was provided. All aspects of the organization are well covered and ran smoothly. Very friendly environment that is enjoyed by the players, many who come back every year,” read his report.
“Nick Freyer and his team did a fantastic job. This is a very relaxing week and I have not received one complaint from any player. Everyone was treated very well. The tournament was well run and I want to thank Nick and all his team for their warm hospitality here in Kuala Lumpur. Great job and look forward to be back here again,” he concluded.
The tournament was supported by the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia and sponsors that include Rado, CNN International, the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Wilson, 100 Plus, the Albukhary Foundation, Astro, Tumasek, Starbucks and the ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Corona. The event is sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia.
Next year’s tournament will be held from September 21 to 29, 2013. For final news and results and daily photos and videos, as well as the latest updates, visit to www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com.