Two-time Grand Slam champion and former world No.2 Svetlana Kuznetsova has been confirmed for next year's ASB Classic.
Currently ranked at 27 in the world the Russian talent has 13 career singles titles and 14 doubles titles to her credit.
The 25-year-old first came to the attention of the world in 2003 when she reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon. However it was the following year that she really hit the headlines winning the 2004 US Open beating Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals and Elena Dementieva in the final.
Her second Grand Slam title was in 2009 at Roland Garros as the seventh seed where she defeated second seed Serena Williams in the quarters and Dinara Safina in the final.
By her own high standards 2010 was not a premier year, however Kuznetsova still won the title at San Diego beating the likes of Yanina Wickmayer, Flavia Pennetta and Agineszka Radwanska.
It will be the first time Kuznetsova has played in New Zealand and she is looking forward to seeing what it is like for real after hearing so much about it.
"I always enjoy coming to new places and explore local culture and food and I am very much looking forward to seeing New Zealand.
"I know from other girls who were playing in Auckland that the management is great and players get the best reception and love it over there. I know that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries (thanks to Lord of the Rings movies), but I am very much excited to come and see it for myself."
Kuznetsova adds to the elite group of Grand Slam singles winners who have played in a women's international in Auckland since the start of a WTA event in the summer of 1985/86 - the players are Lindsay Davenport, Conchita Martinez, Amelie Mauresmo, Mary Pierce, Anastasia Myskina and Francesca Schiavone.
Already confirmed for the tournament is former world No 1 Maria Sharapova and defending champion, Yanina Wickmayer.
- Herald online