Dana Johannsen

Dana Johannsen is the NZ Herald’s chief sports reporter

Tennis: Goerges confirmed wildcard for ASB Classic

Julia Goerges is showing signs of returning to form after a disappointing year. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Julia Goerges is showing signs of returning to form after a disappointing year. Photo / Brett Phibbs

ASB Classic organisers will welcome back this year's second seed as one of two wildcards for the next edition of the tournament.

Germany's Julia Goerges, a regular attendee of the Auckland tournament, has been given one of the spots, while the Czech Republic's Andrea Hlavackova has nabbed the other wildcard.

Goerges, who was ranked as high as 15 in 2012, slipped to 72 this year after a disappointing run on the WTA Tour, which included 15 first-round exits.

She managed a fourth round appearance at the Australian Open, as well as the third rounds of the Indian Wells and Charleston tournaments, hinting at a return to form.

The addition of Hlavackova, who is coming off an impressive 2013 doubles season, winning the US Open in both the mixed and women's events, provides a major boost for the doubles draw.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge said with five of the top 10 doubles players in the world attending the Auckland tournament, the doubles draw is shaping up well.

"It is still hard to say as we're not sure which players will enter the doubles and what the pairings will be, but it is looking like it will be extremely competitive," said Budge.

Just four spots remain in the main draw for the Classic, beginning December 30.

Organisers will offer a third wildcard, while the remaining spots will be decided through qualifying.

The tournament will be headlined by seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams, former world number one Ana Ivanovic and top seed Roberta Vinci.

- NZ Herald

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