Serena Williams Gets to Work in Auckland Ahead of ASB Classic

Serena Williams

Serena Williams has completed her first training session on centre court ahead of Monday’s ASB Classic, just hours after arriving in New Zealand.

Williams touched down in Auckland shortly after 6:30am on Friday, and the highest paid sportswoman made an immediate impact. Williams announced her engagement to current boyfriend, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, via a post on the popular social media site.

Large Media Interest As Serena Williams Lands In Auckland

Greeted by a media scrum at Auckland airport, Williams said that her sister Venus, another tennis great, was largely responsible for bringing her to the New Zealand-based tournament for the first time.

We should just thank Venus when she arrives. She said it was great and that I should come, so I always listen to my big sister.

At 12:00pm, Williams arrived at the ASB Tennis Centre for her first practice, in front of a large presence of cameras and security. Williams appeared to be hitting the ball reasonably well, practicing her wide variety of shots, but after just 20 minutes on court she was already showing signs of difficulties with the heat.

Williams also appeared to be favouring her left knee ever so slightly, but no concerns of injury have been reported.

Williams Sisters Pair In Charity Match Against All Black Duo

It was also announced on Friday that Serena Williams will join her sister Venus in a special doubles charity match on New Years day. The Williams sisters will take on All Black rugby brothers Julian and Ardie Savea, and all proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Kaikoura Earthquake Relief Fund.

ASB Bank’s head of community, sponsorship, and events Mark Graham says that the special matchup will be a fun afternoon and provides fans with a rare opportunity to see the Williams sisters up close.

We can’t think of a better way to kick-off an exceptional two weeks of tennis in Auckland.

ASB Classic Welcomes Tennis Stars To Auckland

The draw for the ASB Classic is due to be released on Saturday at a special event at Auckland’s Sky Tower.

Aside from the Williams sisters, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki will also take part in the tournament, and World No.25 Sloane Stephens. All told, 2017’s edition of the ASB Classic will be the most star-studded in its history, and it also marks the first time that the woman’s singles final has sold out prior to the men’s.

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