December 22, 2016
Serena and Venus Williams take on All Black Savea brothers in charity match-up
Tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams will face unlikely opponents in the All Black brothers Julian and Ardie Savea at a charity match-up on New Year’s Day.
The sisters vs. brothers match-up will take place at the ASB Tennis Arena in Auckland on the eve of the ASB Classic’s opening on January 2, 2017.
ASB has created the curtain-raiser event to raise money for Kaikoura, to help with the town’s rebuild following last month’s earthquakes. Tickets will be sold for $30 and ASB will donate all proceeds to the Kaikoura District Council.
The January 1 event will also see the Williams sisters involved in some friendly play against New Zealand tennis star Marina Eracovic and 18-year-old Jade Lewis, whose women’s title win at the New Zealand Tennis Championships last weekend gave her a wildcard entry to the ASB Classic qualifying round.
Comedians Paul Ego and Urzila Carlson will emcee and referee the afternoon’s events.
ASB head of community, sponsorship and events Mark Graham says the New Year’s Day match-up will be a fun afternoon and a rare opportunity to see Serena and Venus up-close, alongside local sports stars.
“We can’t think of a better way to kick-off an exceptional two weeks of tennis in Auckland,” Mr Graham says.
The announcement of Serena Williams to headline the ASB Classic women’s event has meant that, for the first time in the tournament's 61-year history, the women's final’s weekend sold out before the men's.
ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge says the New Year’s Day match-up gives tennis fans a bonus chance to see two of the biggest names in the sport while they are in Auckland. Tennis fans who attend the charity match-up will also have access to the qualifying rounds within the ASB Tennis Arena that day.
“This is a remarkable prelude to the biggest and best ASB Classic yet,” Mr Budge says.
|Serena and Venus play for
When: 1pm-2pm, Sunday, January 1, 2017.
Where: Centre court, ASB Tennis Arena, 1 Tennis Lane, Parnell, Auckland. Gates open 9am.
Tickets: $30 (plus booking fee). Available at ticketek.co.nz. A presale for ASB customers opens on December 22.