Two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka is heading to the ASB Classic in 2019.
Azarenka was due to play in Auckland earlier this year, but withdrew after an ongoing legal battle over custody of her son.
“She wanted to be here last year and she was certainly gearing up to be here. It was only the restriction of her not being able to leave the States last year that mean that she couldn’t come,” tournament director Karl Budge told 1 NEWS.
“Obviously it’s very pleasing that she wanted to come back, it was a pretty easy conversation for us to lure her.”
Budge expects the refreshed and re-focused Belarusian to get back to winning ways in Auckland.
"She's taken the year off from year through so she won't play for the remainder of the year. She's going home to have a really big training block, and come back with an assault on that top 10. A grit-between-the-teeth Victoria Azarenka's a scary proposition."
She is the third major winner to be announced in the women’s draw, following Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams.
Budge expects to add one more Grand Slam champion to the mix.