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The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur celebrates its sixth anniversary this year and tennis fans across the country are in for excitement and thrills, as three of the world’s top-ten confirm their participation, as the country celebrates Visit Malaysia Year.  Once again the specially built indoor courts at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, will be the host venue for the US$ 1,022,255 ATP 250 tournament, which takes place from September 20 – 28.

The Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur is proud to have as its Patron Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of The Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia.  The event is underpinned by strong support from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, along with a very loyal family of commercial sponsors, and is sanctioned by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia.

Heading the star line-up is one of the greats from Argentina, world No.7 and US Open winner Juan Martin Del Potro, who will make his debut in KL.

For “Delpo” the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur will be one of his first events back, if not the first event, following wrist surgery earlier this year, and he is really looking forward to being back on Tour. Also known as the “Tower of Tandil” his journey to Kuala Lumpur would allow for an appropriate visit to Malaysia’s famous towers, the Petronas Towers at KLCC.

Kei Nishikori, currently ranked #10, and who became only the second Asian man to reach the world’s top-ten and who is now coached by the most successful male player of Asian descent, Michael Chang, has confirmed his return to Kuala Lumpur, a city that provided him with so much success in the early part of his career. Kei reached the semis in KL in 2011 and 2012, both times losing to the eventual champion.

The third of the initial big names to commit to the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur, is the hard-hitting, big serving Canadian Milos Raonic, who broke through into the world’s top ten this year for the very first time. Like Nishikori, Raonic’s first visit to KL was in 2010, when ranked 237, he powered through the qualifying rounds to reach the quarter-finals.

“The Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia is proud to be playing our part to keep the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur in the country, the only ATP World Tour tournament in Southeast Asia,” said YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia.

“With three of the world’s top-ten already confirmed, combined with over 1,200 hours of global television coverage and many exciting promotions and marketing activities, we look forward to the event that continues to grow as a major sports entertainment property in Malaysia, and which attract tourists and very significant media coverage from around the world.”

The support and sanction of the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia is important to help the further development of tennis in Malaysia.

“On behalf of all of us at the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, we are delighted that the ATP Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur has extended its tenure in our country,” said Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff, President of The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia. “With the many opportunities the tournament creates for tennis players of all levels, the tournament is an important component of our development efforts, especially now given the renewed focus towards our sport as emphasized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.”

Since its beginnings in 2009, the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur has continued to grow and become amongst players, one of the more popular events on the ATP World Tour. It has been a tremendous team effort by many parties, as the stars of world tennis have been made to feel right at home with Malaysia’s world famous hospitality.

“On behalf of the tournament team, I would like to warmly thank our tournament Patron, Yang Amat Berbahagia Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor, and the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz for their trust and support in enabling the tournament to remain in Malaysia,” said Nick Freyer, Tournament Director, Senior Vice President, IMG, Head of Tennis Asia.

“As we embark on our next chapter, we look forward to bringing the big names of tennis to Malaysia and thank Juan Martin, Kei and Milos and the others that will follow, for selecting KL as their first port of call in Asia.  These are exciting times and it also gives me great pride to see so many of our sponsors remaining as part of our family for so many years, as we celebrate Visit Malaysia Year 2014.”

Nishikori has enjoyed an outstanding season so far – he won the titles in Barcelona and Memphis, was a finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid where he beat David Ferrer and Milos Raonic and was a semi-finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami, beating Roger Federer en route, and in Brisbane.

The Japanese superstar made it clear that the Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur is high on his priority list having taken away some wonderful memories in the past.

“I always love to come back to Malaysia,” he said. “They have a great stadium, good crowd and good food at the lounge, too. I’ve not won the tournament, so it‘s going to be my goal to win it. Hopefully I can do well at Malaysia this year.

“I hope I can do well in KL, especially in front of Michael who had so much success in Asia, and I hope a lot of the crowds come out to support me. Hopefully it is going to be a great tournament (for me).”

The tournament is also taking this opportunity to announce that the player lounge will have a sushi bar, first introduced last year with great appreciation from the players, that will be named “The Kei Sushi Bar” in recognition of Nishikori’s historic top-ten ranking.

Raonic has reached the quarter-finals or better at four ATP Masters 1000 tournaments in 2014, as well as the 2014 French Open, and he is at a career high ranking of nine.

Raonic also has very fond recollections of his last time in Malaysia. The Canadian remembers that it was in KL when he won his first career ATP World Tour match and it was also the scene of his first career quarter-final.

“There are a lot of good memories for me there and to be coming back is very exciting and I hope to make a lot more of those memories,” said Raonic. “I’m excited to come back to Malaysia; those were great experiences in 2010 and it sort of led to all the things that happened for me in 2011 as far as my breakthrough.

“I do enjoy playing indoors. It’s where I’ve had probably my best results, with most of my titles coming indoors. I do get excited and it is a reason why I chose to play the event, and I feel like it just suits my game.”

The tournament is proud to welcome back its suite of official sponsors. In addition to the distinguished support of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia and Tourism Malaysia as well as the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the event is proud to have prestigious commercial sponsors that include Rado, CNN International, the DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Wilson, the Albukhary Foundation, Astro, the ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Corona, as well as welcome on board KPJ Healthcare Berhad, making its first foray into sponsorship of professional tennis.  Other supplier level sponsors include House Restaurant, Cream & Fudge, Pizza Hut, KFC and KiekLover.KL.

Tickets prices remain very reasonable and range from RM 10 to RM 160.  There will be free admission between Saturday, September 20 and Tuesday, September 23. Tickets can be purchased now on-line via the tournament website http://www.ticketcharge.com.my/en/component/k2/malaysian-open-kuala-lumpur-2014at TicketCharge outlets or through the ticket hotline at TicketCharge Ph: 603-92228811

The full entry list and qualifying recipients, to include at least three Malaysian qualifier wild cards, as determined by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, will be announced in August.

For more information on the tournament, visit www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com or  https://www.facebook.com/MalaysianOpen.KualaLumpur  or https://twitter.com/KLopentennis.

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