The former world tennis number one Maria Sharapova will play in Auckland's international tournament in January.
Sharpova had intended playing in an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong but will now play the ASB Classic, to collect ranking points ahead of the first grand slam of the year the Australian Open.
Auckland is changing its playing surface to match the courts used in Melbourne.
Sharapova's won 22 singles titles including three grand slams, Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008.
This year's winner Yanina Wickmayer has already confirmed she's returning to defend her title.