World tennis No.7 and four-time Auckland champion David Ferrer has accepted a wildcard for the ASB Classic and in doing so will become the top seed.
Ferrer though is only competing in Auckland after a surprise first round loss in Doha.
He had previously asked tournament organisers for a wildcard on the proviso he'd only take it up if he lost early in Doha, the tournament which runs the week prior to the men's Classic.
The 33-year old Spaniard, who's won 26 ATP titles, becomes the second top 10 player at this year's tournament alongside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Frenchman who's making his first appearance in Auckland.
The addition of Ferrer means the top four seeds will all be inside the world's top 12.
Ferrer, who has captured four Auckland titles, would become the outright most successful champion in the events history if he triumphs on Saturday week.
"It's huge for this tournament to have David Ferrer back for another year. He has been so loyal to us and is a huge crowd favourite. We are pleased to welcome him back to have another crack at the title," said tournament director Karl Budge.
"To have our top four seeds all inside the world's top 12 is incredible for an ATP 250 event," Budge said.