Latest 14 Dec 2011

World’s #2 ranked doubles pair to defend title

World’s #2 ranked doubles pair to defend title

The outstanding field for next month’s ASB Classic has been given another boost with the world’s #2 ranked doubles combination confirming they’ll defend their title in Auckland.

Kveta Peschke (Czech Republic) and Katarina Srebotnik (Slovenia) will be back on court at the ASB Tennis Centre from 2-7 January next year to defend their Kia Motors doubles title.

Peschke and Srebotnik have had their best season yet winning the Wimbledon doubles title and being named WTA doubles team of the year. The pair also won titles in Doha, Eastbourne, Carlsbad and Beijing this year, and they were ranked co-number ones for a 10 week period from early July.

ASB Classic tournament director Richard Palmer says the return of Peschke and Srebotnik adds another highlight to an already star-studded line-up.

“When we announced the ASB Classic full field I said it was one of the best fields in the tournament’s history. To have the world’s second best doubles pair is the icing on the cake for tennis fans.”

Srebotnik, 30, is a former ASB Classic singles champion when in 2005 she won both the singles and doubles titles (with Shinobu Asagoe of Japan). She has 29 career doubles titles.

Peschke had success this year with the Fed Cup winning Czech Republic team as she won the decisive doubles rubber in the final. The 36-year-old has won 22 doubles titles.

The pair comprehensively beat Kiwi Marina Erakovic and her partner Sofia Arvidsson (Sweden) in this year’s ASB Classic doubles final 6-3 6-0.

Former world No.1 and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams leads the singles line-up for the 2012 ASB Classic but she will be pushed hard by the top eight seeds who are all ranked in the top 30 in the world.

Palmer has also confirmed the second wildcard for the tournament with Williams given the first one. New Zealand No.2 Sacha Jones has been granted the second wildcard, meaning there will be two Kiwis in the field with world No. 61 Marina Erakovic gaining entry based on her current ranking.

All the seeded players and Venus Williams will be available for interviews at the Meet the Seeds media event on Saturday 31 December at midday at the ASB Tennis Centre.

Tickets for the ASB Classic, featuring the Kia Motors Singles and Doubles, are on sale through Ticketek.

All centre court games for the ASB Classic will be screened live on SKY TV. The action will run uninterrupted from the start of play at 1pm each day through until the last game of the day.