ASB Classic confirm signing of 'the future of men's tennis' for 2018 tournament

One of the brightest young stars will be heading to New Zealand for next year's ASB Classic, with teen sensation Denis Shapovalov signing on to compete in the January tournament.

After a sensational rise in 2017, in which the 18-year old defeated both Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro on his way to the semi-finals of August's Montreal Masters, Shapovalov also became the youngest player in 20 years to advance to the round of 16 at the US Open.

Just this week, Shapovalov has broken into the world's top 50 ranked players, bringing his hot form to Auckland's tournament next year.

In a statement ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge spoke about the excitement at securing the signature of the youngster.

"This is the signing we have wanted all year. There is no question he is the future of men's tennis and what he's achieved this year has been staggering," he says.

"Every year we are asked can we get Federer or Nadal here. We've had them both. This is your opportunity to see this kid who is the hottest property in tennis right now. You don't want to miss your chance."

The ASB Classic begins in Auckland on January 1 2018.


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Watch: ASB Classic director hints at Williams sisters' return to Auckland

The superstar duo of Serena and Venus Williams could be set for a return to the ASB Classic in 2018, if everything goes to plan for tournament director Karl Budge.

Speaking to 1 NEWS today, Budge made no secret of his desire to see the biggest names in women's tennis return to Auckland next year, having both underwhelmed last January.

When asked about the possibility of luring the Williams sisters back, Budge said that he was doing everything he can to see it happen.

"We're trying to have that conversation again at the moment," he said.

"We've obviously got a special relationship with Venus, so we've certainly asked that question to see if there's anything we can do to get you to do your familiar lead into the Australian Open."

Budge then spoke about the possibility of hosting the return of Serena Williams to competitive action, with the 23-time Grand Slam champion having not played since giving birth to daughter Alexis in September.

"She's come out and publicly said that she's going to play week two - the Australian Open."

"I sent her a bit of a message saying redemption would be a lovely thing."

"It'd cap off a pretty awesome last couple of years if we get Serena back out here."

Karl Budge is doing everything he can to bring the tennis superstar sisters back to NZ. Source: 1 NEWS


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'I love Auckland, I've always played well there' - US No.1 John Isner confirms return to ASB Classic

Two-time American champion John Isner has confirmed today he will be attending the ASB Classic in Auckland next January.

The US men's number one tennis player continues to show, particularly on the hard courts, he's one of the game's toughest opponents.

Isner, 32, captured two ATP Tour titles (Newport and Atlanta) in 2017 and made semi-final appearances at the Rome and Cincinnati Masters level events.

However, it is fond memories of Auckland that ensures there is no question where his preparations for the Australian Open will commence.

"Auckland will always hold a special place in my heart, it's where I won my first ATP title. I love Auckland, I've always played well there and I can't wait to get back there in 2018," said Isner.

Auckland has certainly been a happy hunting ground for Isner winning two titles (2010 and 2014) and making at least the quarter finals in all three of his other appearances at the ASB Classic.

"He obviously loves playing here and we are pretty happy about that. He is an entertaining guy with massive weapons," said ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge.

"When that serve fires up it is pretty impressive. We might throw down a challenge to see if he can crack 240kp/h this year. He has done it abroad before so maybe we can rally him up for one of his best here."

The tournament runs from January 1-13.


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