30 Dec 2013

Venus Williams ready for Auckland debut

3:28 pm on 30 December 2013

The former world number one tennis player, Venus Williams, says she has got on top of a debilitating illness that's plagued her career in recent years.

The seven time grand slam winner, who debuts at the Auckland Classic on Monday evening, was diagnosed with an incurable auto immune disease three years ago.

Williams says she has learned to live with the exhausting illness.

Her first round match is against Czech wildcard Andrea Hlavackova.

Before that, 21-year-old Christina McHale begins the United States' charge on centre court against little-known Spaniard Garbine Muguruza.

Next up is the fifth seed Jamie Hampton, who's currently ranked the third-best American on the planet.

The world number 24 takes on Austrian wildcard Tamira Paszek.

The New Zealand number one Marina Erakovic is in doubles action in the late match.

She teams up with Cara Black of Zimbabwe against New Zealand's Abigail Guthrie and Sacha Jones, of Australia.