The 2019 ASB Classic is shaping up to jam packed with star power following confirmation today a Victoria Azarenka will start her year in Auckland.
Azarenka joins the already announced Caroline Wozniacki (currently world number 2) and Venus Williams as Grand Slam Champions and former world number ones that have committed to starting their year in Auckland.
Together the three have enjoyed an incredible 133 weeks at world number one, have won 99 WTA titles, 10 Grand Slam titles and 5 Olympic medals.
“This field is certainly shaping up to be our strongest yet. There is still the chance of another Grand Slam Champion and we know we have two more big names that will confirm in the coming weeks. With the first round now split over two sessions rather than four, we are going to have what will probably be our strongest ever Monday and Tuesday of the Women’s event” said Tournament Director Karl Budge.
Azarenka has been a mainstay at the top of the Women’s game since breaking in to the top ten in 2009. She rose to number one in the world for 51 consecutive weeks in 2012 having captured her first of back to back Australian Open titles. She became just the third women of all time to achieve the ‘Sunshine Double’, winning both Indian Wells and Miami in 2016.
In 2018 the Belarusian has risen an incredible 154 spots on the WTA rankings as she strives to return to the top ten following the birth of her first child, Leo.
Whilst it may have been Serena that has grabbed the headlines, Azarenka too is flying the flag for sporting mums balancing life as a mother and as a professional athlete.
“Vika has been incredible since coming back on Tour. She performed incredibly well at Wimbledon last year in her second tournament back and this year alone she made the Semi-Final’s in Miami, one of the biggest events of the year and recorded wins over top ten players. What she is doing is incredible and we look forward to welcoming her and Leo to Auckland in January”.
The exceptional field of players secured for the 2019 event is exciting for tournament organisers and sponsors alike.
“We’re excited to see former world number one Victoria Azarenka return to the ASB Classic this year,” says ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham.
“With Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki, we now have three Grand Slam winners heading to Auckland for the Women’s week – it’s shaping up to be a fantastic summer of tennis.”
With more players still to be announced over the coming weeks, the tournament is shaping up to be one of the most well rounded in history with some of the biggest names in women’s tennis guaranteed to be taking to centre court right from day one of the tournament.