Veteran Spanish tennis star David Ferrer will return to Auckland for next month's ASB Classic on his farewell tour.
The 36-year-old announced in October that 2019 will be his last year as a professional, bringing the end to an illustrious career which saw him ranked third in the world during his prime years.
Ferrer is a fan favourite in Auckland, having played in New Zealand 13 times, winning four titles (2007, 2011-13) to sit alongside Australian Roy Emerson as the tournament's most successful ever champion. In addition to his four wins, he's made the semi-finals four times and the quarter-finals on three occasions.
ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge is thrilled Ferrer will return for one last hurrah.
"David is such a great person and such a special player. He's helped establish the ASB Classic as one of the most respected events on the tour and played a crucial part in us building the quality fields we now have coming now year-in and year out," he said.
"To be included on David's list of favourite tournaments, and one of the few events he'll be playing in 2019, is really fantastic. We're honoured to be able to have him back out on centre court one more time and we know he's going to put on a performance for his loyal fans.
"You don't get many records like David's, to progress to the finals nine out of 13 times speaks volumes about his character. We will organise something special to say goodbye to a very close friend and humble champion come January."
Defending men's champion and fellow Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut, has already confirmed he'll return to The City of Sails for the 2019 tournament.
The ASB Classic will span for two weeks; the women's tournament runs from December 31 to January 6, followed by the men's tournament from January 7-12.