Tennis stars to descend on Auckland for Classic

LIAM NAPIER
Last updated 17:14 20/11/2013
Ana Ivanovic
Reuters
STAR ATTRACTION: Ana Ivanovic.

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Six of world's top 30 women tennis players are set to join the field for the upcoming WTA Tour event in Auckland.

World no 14 Roberta Vinci, Kirsten Flipkens (20), Sorana Cirstea (22), Elena Vesina (25), Jamie Hampton (28), and Lucie Safarova (29) will join superstars Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic, who were named to take part seven weeks ago.

Vinci will be the tournament's top seed. Last year, the Italian claimed a career-high world ranking of 11, took home two WTA Singles titles, and reached the quarter-finals of the US Open.

She also comes to Auckland as the number one ranked doubles player in the world, a year after winning the Australian Open doubles title with fellow Italian Sara Errani.

Former tournament champion Yanina Wickmayer, Laura Robson and Monica Puig had also already been announced, while New Zealander Marina Erakovic, who won her first WTA Singles tournament this year in Memphis, will also take part.

"To have a field featuring eight players in the world's top 30 as well as Venus, Marina and former champion (Wickmayer) means fans will catch outstanding tennis no matter which session they attend," tournament director Karl Budge said. 

"With the likes of Venus, Wickmayer and renowned giant killer Laura Robson all being outside the protected seeds, we will see some very tough match ups in the first two days."

The Auckland WTA tour event will take place in Auckland between December 30 and January 4.

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- Fairfax Media

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