AAP Tennis

Serena set for NZ buildup to Aust Open

By AAP Newswire

Serena Williams is banking on Australian Open history to repeat, and for the wind to stay away, when she returns to Auckland to contest New Zealand's only WTA tournament.

Williams has confirmed she''ll make a second appearance at the ASB Classic, which finishes a week out from the grand slam event in Melbourne starting on January 20.

Her other visit was in 2017 when she was surprisingly eliminated in the second round before going on to claim her seventh Australian Open singles crown, beating sister Venus in the final.

Williams hasn't been able to add to her tally of 23 grand slam titles since and her ranking has dipped to eighth.

Auckland organisers may have feared the 37-year-old wouldn't be back after she described windy conditions there as "abhorrent" following her shock loss to compatriot Madison Brengle three years ago.

"At least I can get out of these conditions so I can get somewhere better, and warmer weather too," she said in a brief post-match press conference.

"I would say it's my least favourite conditions I've ever played in."

However, Williams also carries fond memories of her visit, where she announced her engagement to internet entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian.

"Oh man, I want to win that title so bad. Last time I was there I had so much going on," Williams said in a statement on Tuesday.

"I have such amazing memories that are really special to me from Auckland. I would really like to add some on-court memories to that list."