Venus Williams will continue her love affair with the ASB Classic, with the seven-time Grand Slam champion to headline the Auckland tournament, beginning on December 31.
Williams, 38, is the first player to be announced to play the tournament, returning to New Zealand for the fifth time after winning the ASB Classic in 2015, as well as finishing runner up in 2014.
"It's great to have Venus back. She has been a special part of this tournament for a number of years and we missed her this year," said Tournament Director Karl Budge.
"She is still at the top of the game and how good would it be if she could capture career title number 50 here in Auckland."
More players for both the men's and women's draws will be announced as the tournament draws nearer.