Venus Williams Takes ASB Classic to New Heights
The star power of the 2017 ASB Classic has reached another level with the return of Venus Williams. The elder Williams sister has been confirmed to join sister Serena in an unprecedented ASB Classic field.
Venus has had an extraordinary career in her own right. The American has three times been ranked the number one player in the world, captured 49 career titles, the second most of any active player (behind Serena), 22 doubles titles and four Olympic Gold Medals. She has won seven singles (also second most of any other active player behind Serena) and sixteen doubles titles at Grand Slams.
Showing no signs of slowing, 2016 has been another successful year for one of the sports all-‐time greats. Venus won her 49th career title in Kaohsiung (Taiwan) before rolling back the years to reach the semi-‐finals of Wimbledon, a place where she has triumphed on five occasions. A further final beckoned in Stamford (USA) where her rank peaked for the year at world number six on the WTA rankings.
“Venus is amazing. She has been one of the best players on the planet for two decades. I was still at school when she won her first WTA title. Google was founded that year. That is how long she has been leading our sport,” said Tournament Director, Karl Budge.
Together, the Williams sisters have been the most dominant players since before the turn of the Millennium. They have jointly captured a staggering 120 WTA Tour Titles, 29 Grand Slam titles and 18 Grand Slam doubles titles. As a pair, they have never lost a final at a Grand Slam.
In a clear sign of how well respected the ASB Classic is amongst tennis’ elite, 2017 will be the first time since 1998 the Williams Sisters have played at the same International level event. Ironically, that same event Venus Williams won her first WTA Tour title.
“It really is incredible. I couldn’t believe it when we signed Venus four years ago for the first time. To have them both coming is absolutely mind blowing for an event of our size. It really goes to show how respected we are,” said Budge.
Already close to capacity, tickets will be at a premium for the January showpiece with the mouth-‐watering prospect of an all Williams final. They have played each other 38 times at Tour level events with Serena edging Venus 27 -‐11. Incredibly, they have squared off eight times in Grand Slam finals.
“They are some of the best-‐loved stars of the sport and excitement is building already. There’s no doubt fans are in for another exceptional tournament this summer,” said ASB Chief Executive Barbara Chapman.
“The ASB Classic continues to go from strength to strength, and ASB is very proud to support these two weeks of outstanding tennis,” added Chapman.
Venus and Serena Williams are the only female players confirmed with more player signings announced in the coming weeks. The full men’s and women’s line-‐up will be announced late November.
The ASB Classic will span for two weeks; the women's tournament kicking off on January 2nd to 7th followed by the men’s tournament from January 9th to 14th. Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketek. You can purchase tickets either online, over the phone on (0800 842 538) or in person at one of the agencies listed on the Ticketek website.