WTA Tour

Serena picks Auckland for Oz Open warm-up

2016-09-28 07:23
tennis, serena williams, getty, french open
Serena Williams (Getty Images)

Wellington - Serena Williams will headline the Auckland Classic in January, organisers said Wednesday, hailing her appearance as a major coup for the New Zealand tournament.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has never played in the January 2-7 tournament before, preferring to warm-up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup in Perth in recent years.

"We are obviously over the moon with this news. Serena is one of the biggest sporting stars on the planet," tournament director Karl Budge said.

Williams, the reigning Wimbledon champion, is currently ranked number two in the world after Angelique Kerber broke her 186-week reign at the top.

She is likely to regain the number one spot if she can claim a seventh Australian Open crown at the season-opening Grand Slam in Melbourne.

The 35-year-old American said a good run in Auckland would set her up well for a tilt at her 23rd major, giving her sole custody of the Open-era record she currently shares with Steffi Graf.

"(It's) the first event of the year. It can really set you up for a great run in Melbourne and I will be looking to start my year strongly in Auckland," she said.

"I am really excited to be coming to Auckland for the first time. I have heard so many great things about the city and the tournament itself and I have always wanted to play there."

Read more on:    serena williams  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.