12 Jan 2009

Ferrero hoping to put injury behind him

5:56 am on 12 January 2009

Last year's beaten finalist at the Heineken Open tennis tournament is hoping to put long term injury behind him as he continues to kick starts another year on the tour.

Spain's former world number one ,Juan Carlos Ferrero, hasn't won a title since 2003 and will face rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori in the first round in Auckland.

Ferrero says for four months of last year was hobbled by an shoulder injury, which prevented him from playing at his best.

In other first round matches defending champ Philipp Kohschreiber, the fifth seed ranked 28 in the world, will face former top-20 player, Dominik Hrbaty, a two-time winner of the tournament.

New Zealand's Dan King-Turner will clash with American Sam Querry, while the other local wildcard, Rubin Statham, will be pitted against former top-20 player Robby Ginepri, of the United States.

The four top seeds - Juan Martin Del Potro, David Ferrer, Robin Soderling and Nicolas Almagro all have first round byes.