14 Dec 2016

Erakovic joins ASB Classic draw

7:49 am on 14 December 2016

New Zealand's top women's tennis player Marina Erakovic has been given a wildcard for the ASB tennis Classic in Auckland in January.

Erakovic, who's ranked 105th in the world, will line up against what is probably the tournament's strongest ever field, with former world number ones Serena Williams, her sister Venus, Caroline Wozniacki and Ana Ivanovic all vying for the Auckland title

Marina Erakovic Wimbledon 2016.

Marina Erakovic Wimbledon 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

She said she's pleased to receive the wildcard.

"This tournament means a lot to me and to play again in front of my home crowd in 2017 is just as exciting as the first time I stepped out onto that centre court, which was a long, long time ago!"

Erakovic is still building back from an injury in 2015 and has recently made changes to her game, replacing her Spanish coach Eduardo Nicolas with South African born New Zealander Wesley Whitehouse in August.

This will be their first tournament together on home soil.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge said he's thrilled to offer Erakovic a place in the draw.

"She has been far and away our best singles player for some time and her consistency over several years to stay at the top of tennis has been impressive," Budge said.

"She is working hard at her game with Wesley and we have seen her go deep at tournaments at our level around the world and here before. I hope we can see the best of her again in 2017."

Erakovic has played at the ASB Classic 11 times. She has reached the second round six times and the semi-finals once in 2007.

- RNZ

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