Latest 30 Nov 2014

ASB Classic Full Field welcomes five Top 30 players, and world No. 1 doubles

ASB Classic Full Field welcomes five Top 30 players, and world No. 1 doubles

Boasting five Top 30 players, two former world number ones, and the number one ranked doubles team in the world – the ASB Classic Full Field is sure to wow tennis fans this January.

Joining an already-impressive field including Caroline Wozniacki (8), Sara Errani (14), and Venus Williams (18), is Wimbledon quarter-finalist, Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (25). The Czech has had a career best year, reaching two WTA finals in Burmingham and Luxemburg, and the quarter-final at New Haven to add to her Wimbledon success.
Two-time Grand Slam champion and former world number two; Svetlana Kuznetsova (27) will also join the field.  The popular Russian, who has amassed more than $18million in prize money, won her 14th career title in Washington this year – impressively, 12 years after her first crown in Bali, 2002.

Other significant signings include American rising star Coco Vandeweghe. The 6’1” 22-year-old delivered on her much-tipped potential in 2014, jumping 71 spots to finish inside the world’s top 40 for the first time in her career, and rewarding tournament organisers for her 2013 wild card.

In addition, Mona Barthel (42) will return to be the eighth seed, as well as 2014 ASB Classic semi-finalist, Kirsten Flipkens (45).

“To have a top ten player in Caroline, a legend in Venus and a further three others in top 30 is a pretty incredible effort considering the competition,” says Tournament Director, Karl Budge.

“There is a real variety in styles, and some pretty tense competition right from the word go!” Budge continues.

Pleasingly, Kiwi number one Marina Erakovic (77) also has made the direct entry list.

“It is great to have Marina playing her home tournament.  With her new coach, Marina is primed for a big season and I am really excited to see her kick off her year in front of her fans,” says Budge. 

There will also be excitement in the doubles draw with the world number one doubles pair confirmed for the event.  Joining her already announced doubles partner, Sara Errani, is 2014 singles top seed Roberta Vinci (47).  The pair has been by far the best doubles team in world tennis in recent years, capturing six Grand Slam titles and being runner up in three more.  In 2014 alone they have captured an impressive five titles (Australian Open, Madrid, Stuttgart, Wimbledon and Montreal).

“ASB has been helping to bring world class tennis to Auckland for nineteen years,” says Roger Beaumont, ASB’s General Manager of Marketing and Communications.

“With the breadth of talent on offer in the 2015 ASB Classic, New Zealand tennis fans are in for a fantastic opportunity to witness some of the most exciting players in the world in action.”

As ever, the ASB Classic has an eye on the future with some of the most promising talent kicking off their year in Auckland.  Joining the already announced up-and-comers Sloane Stephens (36) and 16-year-old Ana Konjuh (91), is winner of WTA’s Rising Stars Tournament in Singapore last month Monica Puig (59).  One of the fast risers on the WTA Tour, the Puerto Rican won her first WTA title in 2014 in Strasbourg before being chosen to compete and eventually winning the flagship Season Ending Tournament in Singapore. 

Full list of seeded players for the ASB Classic 2015:
1. Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark – 8)
2. Sara Errani (Italy – 14)
3. Venus Williams (USA – 18)
4. Barbora Zahlavova-Strycova (Czeck Republic – 25)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (Russia – 27)
6. Sloane Stephens (USA – 36)
7. Coco Vandeweghe (USA – 39)
8. Mona Barthel (German – 42)

The 2015 ASB Classic field will offer a truly international line-up, celebrating world-class tennis on the local stage at the NZ Festival of Tennis.

8 Caroline Wozniacki Denmark
14 Sara Errani Italy
18 Venus Williams USA
25 Barbora Zahlavova Strycova Czeck Republic
27 Svetlana Kuznetsova Russia
36 Sloane Stephens USA
39 Coco Vandeweghe USA
42 Mona Barthel Germany
44 Kurumi Nara Japan
45 Kirsten Flipkens Belgium
47 Roberta Vinci Italy
55 Lauren Davis USA
56 Jana Cepelova Slovakia
59 Monica Puig Puerto Rico
63 Daniela Hantuchova Slovakia
64 Elena Vesnina Russia
66 Silvia Soler-Espinosa Spain
67 Kristina Mladenovic France
68 Kiki Bertens Netherlands
70 Johanna Larsson Sweden
73 Shelby Rogers USA
75 Julia Goerges Germany
76 Yanina Wickmayer Belgium
77 Marina Erakovic New Zealand
92 Ana Konjuh (WC) Croatia