Konjuh and Friends Decide Draw
The Croatian dropped 192 metres to waiting media to kick off the 2017 ASB Classic women's singles draw ceremony.
The 19-year-old prodigy is ranked 48 in the world and said it was a privilege to get the draw ceremony honours.
After falling from the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand, Konjuh joined Tournament Director Karl Budge, WTA Tournament Supervisor Tony Cho and 10-year-old Stevie-Ray Tiopira to begin the formalities of who would play who in women’s singles at the ASB Classic.
Draw chips were picked at random in front of fans and media with each chip representing a player. Stevie-Ray picked the first draw chip to decide who would play world number two Serena Williams. At random, he selected French player Pauline Parmentier. As the names fell it became clear that Caroline Wozniacki would play American Nicole Gibbs and Serena’s sister and second seed Venus Williams would play New Zealand’s own Jade Lewis. Lewis secured a wild card after winning the Pascoes New Zealand Championships in December. Should the top seeds progress Venus Williams and Wozniacki are on a collision course for a Grand Slam quality semi-final.
New Zealand wildcard Marina Erakovic will face 7th seed Jelena Ostapenko. The two players have never played before and will be an interesting match-up. 19-year-old Ostapenko is ranked 43 in the world and was yet to be born when Venus Williams made her French Open debut in 1997. Erakovic was awarded a wildcard for the women’s tournament. The 28-year-old returns to Auckland hungry to go deep in the draw and do kiwi fans proud. She has played the ASB Classic 11 times and reached the second round six times and the semi-finals in 2007.