New Year Days Away, WTA Stars Assembling
Published December 27, 2011 12:00
The 2012 season is just five days away, and with some packed fields already assembling in Brisbane, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, it would appear the 2012 season is going to start off on quite a high Down Under.
Among those heading to Brisbane are Top 10 stars Sam Stosur and Andrea Petkovic and six more very high profile Top 20 stars, namely Francesca Schiavone, Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters, Jelena Jankovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dominika Cibulkova. Williams and Clijsters will both be playing their first tournaments since the summer hardcourt season.
"I'm really looking forward to coming back to Brisbane in 2012," Clijsters said. "The last time I was there I played extremely well. The final against Justine was a big match. We were extremely focused and set the bar pretty high. I was so excited to win that match and am hoping to get that kind of preparation again.
"Having won Brisbane in 2010 and then the Australian Open in 2011, I'm looking forward to getting back to Australia to defend both my titles."
"I've never been to Brisbane but I've heard great things about it," Williams said. "I have such a great fan base in Australia - the Australian Open is my favorite Slam to play so I'm really looking forward to going to Brisbane this year.
"It will also help me with my seeding going into the Australian Open."
Among those heading to Auckland are four Top 20 stars, namely Sabine Lisicki, Peng Shuai, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Flavia Pennetta. The last two champions, Yanina Wickmayer and Greta Arn, are also confirmed.
"Sabine is a very likable young woman," said Tournament Director Richard Palmer. "She has always shown exceptional promise and has been one of the biggest movers on the WTA as she begins to fulfill that promise. Hopefully fans will be able to see her playing at her best and witness her big serve.
"To have four players from the Top 20 in the world and 10 players being ranked No.32 or higher makes this year's ASB Classic field outstanding."
Additionally, the No.1 doubles team in the world, reigning Wimbledon champions Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, will be defending their title in Auckland. They won the first of six WTA titles in 2011 there.