Latest 27 Oct 2017

Defending Champs return to Auckland

by Julia Atkinson
Defending Champs return to Auckland

The ASB Classic is thrilled to announce both 2017 Champions Lauren Davis and Jack Sock will be returning in 2018 to defend their crowns.  

Sock has gone from strength to strength this season having captured two titles (Auckland and Delray Beach), three semi-final’s including Indian Wells, considered by many as the 5th Grand Slam, and three further quarter-finals making 2017 his best year on tour.

With his all power game, the fast courts of Stanley Street really suit the American and has become a hugely popular fan favourite, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Sock.   

“I’m really excited to be coming back to the ASB Classic.  I have some amazing memories winning their last year.  Playing in front of all of you on centre court, it’s an incredible atmosphere, you bring so much energy, so definitely excited to come back down to Auckland and play in front of you guys”.  

Despite being a two-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion (US Open 2011 and Wimbledon 2014) Sock has focussed on singles this season reaching a career high ATP ranking of 14 in April. J Sizzle as he’s affectionately known is down a few spots now at 21 but is determined to get back to his best ranking or higher next year.

His countrywoman Davis has been in similar blistering form after winning her maiden WTA Title in Auckland. In the three tournaments following the Australian Open, the pocket rocket from Ohio reached two quarter-finals (Dubai & Doha) and round 16 at Indiana Wells.

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The tour hasn’t been smooth sailing for Davis, the pint-sized tennis player spent 6 weeks away from the sport last year considering whether or not to return. Luckily for her she did and has fired on all cylinders since. In May, 24-year old Davis surged up the rankings to sit inside the top 30, reaching a career high of 26. Her biggest scalp this season, beating Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6 6-1 at Eastbourne. Davis is still in the top 50, holding steady at 42 and with the crowd on her side in Auckland, she’ll look to repeat her winning formula in 2018.

 “I can’t wait to come back to Auckland.  Its one of my favourite tournaments of the year, I have some of the best memories, most memorable experiences, winning my first WTA title.  The fans are just amazing.  I have some of the most supportive, most loving, most motivating fans from Auckland.  I can’t wait to come back and do it again”. Continued Davis.                 

“It’s always great to get your defending champions back.  Importantly for us, they are two of the players we are asked most about so to be able to announce them today is exciting. Jack plays at an incredibly high level in Auckland. The court surface suits him and I would imagine he will be hard to beat again next year.

Lauren is just so enjoyable to watch.  Her personality’s there for everyone to see on court and I think she might have the fastest feet on tour!  It is never an easy match for her opponents and the fact that she won’t be seeded means there will be a few worried players looking at where she will land in the draw next year” said Tournament Director Karl Budge.

More player signings will be announced in the coming weeks with the full men’s and women’s line-up to be announced late November. 

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