Michael Burgess is a sports writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Bumper schedule at the ASB Classic

It's a bumper schedule at the ASB Classic today, with four former champions on centre court as well as two Kiwis facing each other in doubles.

After the dramas of last week, where the weather ruined two days and some surprise results led to underwhelming matches in the latter stages, this week's tournament is already shaping up as the better spectacle.

It also means a log jammed schedule on Wednesday. With the top four seeds on centre court, plus a doubles match featuring Michael Venus and Artem Sitak, the likes of sixth seed Feliciano Lopez, seventh seed Steve Johnson, eighth seed Marcos Bagdahtis and exciting wildcard Dustin Brown are on the outside courts. Indeed, Bagdahtis and Brown have featured in two of the best matches on centre court so far in this tournament, and will play each other on Wednesday.

"Trying to figure out who you don't put on centre court isn't a bad problem to have," said tournament director Karl Budge of the scheduling issues. "We have two or three matches that you would ideally have on centre court but it's a good problem to have."

On Wednesday David Ferrer is scheduled to launch the day session on his 12th visit to Auckland. Ferrer, who will face Robin Haase, sits alongside Australian Roy Emerson with his four Auckland titles.

Top seed and 2016 champion Roberto Bautista-Agut and two-time winner John Isner are also in action during the day, with American Jack Sock headlining the night session.

ORDER OF PLAY

CENTRE COURT start 12:30 pm
[3] D. Ferrer (ESP) vs R. Haase (NED)
M. Jaziri (TUN) vs [2] J. Isner (USA)
[1] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Vesely (CZE)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[Q] R. Harrison (USA) vs [4] J. Sock (USA)
N. Monroe (USA) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs [3] R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Venus (NZL)

GRANDSTAND start 12:30 pm
[WC] J. Statham (NZL) / F. Tearney (NZL) vs [2] D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU)
[7] S. Johnson (USA) vs Y. Lu (TPE)
[WC] D. Brown (GER) vs A. Mannarino (FRA) or [8] M. Baghdatis (CYP)
[6] F. Lopez (ESP) vs [WC] A. Sitak (NZL) or J. Chardy (FRA)

COURT 2 start 12:30 pm
[1] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs L. Paes (IND) / A. Sa (BRA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[Q] B. Klein (GBR) vs J. Sousa (POR)

- NZ Herald

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