18 Oct 2016

Fears allayed over Serena Williams missing ASB Classic

2:19 pm on 18 October 2016

Fears that star attraction Serena Williams could miss the ASB Tennis Classic in Auckland are being allayed by tournament management.

The 22 time grand slam winner hasn't played since losing the US Open semi-final early last month and has withdrawn from the upcoming WTA Finals in Singapore citing a shoulder injury.

Williams says the injury has bothered her all year and medical advice is to rest for the remainder of 2016.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams and ASB Classic trophy Photo: Photosport

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge says that hasn't rung any alarm bells as far as they are concerned.

"I spoke with her team over the weekend and it's business as usual. We're talking about book flights and when she wants to arrive and what she wants to do in the city," he said.

Budge said with Williams' last match being the US Open in September she will want some match play ahead of the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, so missing the ASB Classic will be something she will keen to avoid.

"So we are feeling very confident that not only are we going to see Serena but someone who is itching for some court time," he said.

"There's been no discussion whatsoever of the risk (of her not playing)," said Budge.

However he says there is always a risk when dealing with elite sportspeople.

"I wish I had the ability of controlling sports people but I don't and you just plan accordingly...and let the sports gods play their part."

Since the US Open the 35-year-old has spent her time involved in fashion shows, a Beyonce video and concert and a trip to Disneyland.

ASB Classic Tournament director Karl Budge and Venus Williams

ASB Classic Tournament director Karl Budge and Venus Williams Photo: Photosport

The ASB Classic runs from January 2-14th.

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