Venus to begin 2014 season in Auckland

by: AP November 01, 2013

TENNIS.com

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Venus Williams will open her season at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.

The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, now ranked 49th, last played in the September semifinals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

The 33-year-old Williams has been fighting a back injury while also contending with the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, an incurable condition with which she was diagnosed in 2011.

Williams was due to play in Auckland two years ago but withdrew because of health problems. In a video message Friday she said; "I'm really looking forward to kicking off 2014 on a high note and hopefully some cheers from you all for maybe a win."

Another former No. 1, Ana Ivanovic, also will play in the Dec. 30-Jan. 4 tournament.

More Stories

Victoria Azarenka putting in the work for summer return to WTA tour

Win or lose, Azarenka said that her life has already changed for the better. 

Venus Williams: I leave 'all my guts, blood, sweat, tears' on court

The seven-time Grand Slam champion added that she's just fine with on-court coaching. 

Karolina Pliskova into Miami Open semis; Nishikori, Nadal in quarters

Pliskova improved to 23-3 this year, the best record on the women's tour.