AUCKLAND, New Zealand - World No.2 Serena Williams is back in action for the first time in five months at the ASB Classic, playing her first ever match in Auckland. She's not the only big name hitting the court, though, with Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki also starting out 2017 in New Zealand.
'NEW EXPERIENCES' KEY FOR SERENA:
It's been over five months since Serena played a tour-level tennis match, after falling to Karolina Pliskova at the US Open semifinals. She ended her season rehabbing a troublesome shoulder injury that kept her out of the WTA Finals in Singapore.
Now that she's back in action, No.1 seed Serena admits to relishing new experiences - on and off the court.
"I've never been in Auckland and so I've never had an opportunity to be first in the world to welcome in this New Year," she said at a charity event ahead of her opening match.
"This is a new experience for me and the fact that I'm still having new experiences this deep into my career makes me feel really good."
Competing at the ASB Classic for the first time, the newly-engaged Serena will have the chance to collect her first win in Auckland as she opens the day session on Tuesday against France's Pauline Parmentier for the pair's first tour-level match.
Later tonight, No.2 seed Venus is set to take on local wildcard Jade Lewis, while No.3 seed Wozniacki will close out the night session against Nicole Gibbs.
- Photos courtesy of Tennis Auckland