ASB Classic Wild Card Playoff
Tennis New Zealand today announced the creation of Wild Card Play-Off events to decide Kiwi participation in the ASB Classic Men’s and Women’s main-draw singles events. The provision of wildcards provides an invaluable entry-point into the ATP and WTA events for New Zealand’s top talent and comes as a result of Tennis New Zealand’s increased involvement in the ASB Classic event for 2023.
“One of the key drivers for Tennis NZ in increasing our investment in the ASB Classic was to secure guaranteed opportunities for our best Kiwi players to compete. Through this wildcard playoff and the World Tennis Tour events being held in Wellington and Tauranga just prior to Christmas, NZ players have the chance to make some big gains to their WTA and ATP rankings, as well as the rare opportunity to play professionally in front of a home crowd.” Said Tennis NZ Chief Executive Julie Paterson.
The play-offs, for both men and women, will be held in Auckland the week prior to the women’s and men’s ASB Classic events, and will feature a knock-out draw of New Zealand’s top players who will qualify through their respective WTA or ATP singles rankings. A main-draw Wildcard for the women’s and men’s ASB Classic will go to event winners’, with the runner-up receiving a wildcard into the qualifying draw.
Currently five New Zealand women’s players hold a singles WTA ranking, with six men holding an ATP singles ranking. World Tennis Tour events being held in Wellington and Tauranga in December will provide key opportunities for further players to join this group of professionally ranked Kiwis.
ASB Classic Tournament Director Nicolas Lamperin believes WTA & ATP tournaments provide vital pathways to tour success for players from host countries. “One of the greatest benefits for any country in hosting WTA and ATP tour events is access into the main-draw via wildcards for the nation’s best and brightest. I’m excited to see who comes out on top in the play-offs and joins the world-class field competing in the ASB Classic. It’s a huge opportunity for them to prove themselves on an international stage and with the WTA and ATP points on offer could set them up for a breakthrough 2023 season.” Said Lamperin.
New Zealand’s leading ATP player, Michael Venus thinks the play-off is a great opportunity for players looking to make their mark on the professional circuit. “I’ve been lucky enough to play on the ASB Classic centre court many times, it’s always a massive thrill to play in front of your home crowd. Whoever wins these play-off’s earns the chance to test themselves against the best - something every professional athlete wants to do. By Tennis NZ providing this opportunity they present a huge chance for someone to step-up and make 2023 the year they take their career to the next level.” Said Venus.
Further details on the Wildcard Play-off will be announced soon.
The ASB Classic is being held 2-14 January 2023, featuring a host of top-10 players the field is shaping as one of the strongest seen at Stanley Street. Tickets and information on hospitality packages are available at www.asbclassic.co.nz