Tennis superstar Serena Williams has confirmed her return to the ASB Classic next year.
The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion is the first big name announced for next year's tournament in Auckland where she will make her second appearance.
Williams competed at the ASB Classic in 2017 but was dispatched in the second round by American Madison Brengle - a result that still lingers in her mind.
"I want to win that title so bad," Williams said of the ASB Classic.
"Last time I was there I had so much going on and although I fought through to win my first match, I know I didn’t play to my level. I have such amazing memories that are really special to me from Auckland.
"I would really like to add some on court memories to that list."
Tournament director Karl Budge said he was thrilled to get Williams back in New Zealand.
"We know she has some unfinished business here and we have desperately wanted to show the New Zealand public just what the greatest player of all time can do here.
"Serena is chasing history and Auckland will play a key role in helping her achieve it. I can’t wait to see her back out on court."
The 37-year-old has captured 72 WTA titles and has dominated at Grand Slams, with her 2017 Australian Open win against sister Venus earning her 23rd Grand Slam title, surpassing Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22.
Williams was pregnant when she won the 2017 major in Australia and gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. later that year. She returned to the court last year and has since made three major finals, but a record-equalling 24th title still eludes her.
Should she win another Grand Slam, Williams would tie Australian Margaret Court for the most women's singles Grand Slam titles in history.