20 Aug 2019

Tennis legend to return to Auckland

11:53 am on 20 August 2019

One of the biggest names in tennis, Serena Williams, will play in January's ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland.

Serena Williams won just one match at the 2017 tournament.

Serena Williams won just one match at the 2017 tournament. Photo: Photosport

The 23-time grand slam winner was the tournament drawcard in 2017 but won only one match before being beaten by unheralded American Madison Brengle in the second round, struggling in the blustery conditions.

Williams, who turns 38 next month, said she's looking forward to returning to Auckland after the disappointment of her last appearance.

"Oh man, I want to win that title so bad," Williams said.

"Last time I was there I had so much going on and although I fought through to win my first match, I know I didn't play to my level.

"I have such amazing memories that are really special to me from Auckland. I would really like to add some on court memories to that list."

Tournament director Karl Budge said he was "thrilled" to have Williams return.

"We know she has some unfinished business here and we have desperately wanted to show the New Zealand public just what the greatest player of all time can do here."

The tournament begins on 6 January.

In 2017 Williams announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian to the world from a private beach on Auckland's Waiheke Island.

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