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Serena Williams just the first big name for ASB Classic, says tournament director

Fresh from sealing the signature of superstar Serena Williams for the 2020 ASB Classic, tournament organisers are assuring that more big names are on their way to Auckland.

With Williams' return to Auckland announced yesterday, tournament director Karl Budge has his sights firmly set on not one, but two of the more exciting names in women's tennis.

After lighting up Wimbledon, American 15-year old sensation Coco Gauff is a priority on Budge's wish-list, although it might be difficult for the teenager to even qualify, needing to climb 50 places in the world rankings to be eligible.

"We desperately would like her," Budge told 1 NEWS. "She's got to get in, we can't give her a wildcard - she's too young."

Fans can also be hopeful of a return for Canadian starlet Bianca Andreescu, who made the final as an 18-year old last summer, Budge added.

"We want her, I'm happy to come out and say that."

Serena Williams' confirmation has proven to be a drawcard once again for fans, many now rushing to be a part of the 2020 ASB Classic.

"Yeah it's been amazing, I think we had our biggest ever first day of ticket sales wise," Budge continued.

"The last time Serena was here we had seven individual tickets left for the whole fortnight on the Monday morning when we open the gates."

A boost for the men's side of the draw too, the ASB Classic now with five wildcards available, two more than previous years.

That means that players who lose in the ATP World Cup team events in Australia can choose Auckland for some extra match practice ahead of the Australian Open.

"We've had a number of the top 10 guys going, 'please, please hold a wildcard for us, we'd be interested in coming late in the piece.'"

The 2020 ASB Classic begins on January 6, both men's and women's tournaments running through to January 18.


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