The ASB Classic has been a smash hit with most punters, despite the high-profile failure of the Williams sisters and Caroline Wozniacki to ace the field.

The stars were out to catch a glimpse of the action on centre court with elite athletes and local celebrities among those who headed to Stanley Street this week.

Despite the big names faltering, six out of the 10 women's sessions sold out on centre court.

Tennis fans weren't afraid to get stuck into some fine food and drink, with 4000 flutes of Moet & Chandon champagne being sold so far this year - halfway through the tournament - creeping up to the 12,000 which were consumed last year. Every flute purchased puts the buyer into the draw for a bespoke Naveya & Sloane ring.

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By the close of play on Friday, 300kg of Wagyu beef had been served, along with 1600 pizzas and 250 rotisserie chickens.

And yesterday the glam stakes were raised even further with the Ladies That Lunch event; a special luncheon in The Serve area hosted by Juliette Hogan and Kathryn Wilson.

But it wasn't rosy all week for fans however, with some patrons having to queue outside the venue for more than three hours due to games running past their scheduled end time.

Malakai Fekitoa was disappointed to miss out on the action due to rain, while new WBO heavyweight boxing champion Joseph Parker posed for snaps with fans at the arena.

The Savea brothers Julian and Ardie went a step futher and joined Venus and Serena Williams on court for a sibling doubles face-off.

Serena arrived in Auckland with big news last Friday - announcing her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Arriving at Auckland International Airport, Williams kept her left hand hidden from photographers.

The 35-year-old then set off for Waiheke Island, posting a video of her dancing at the beach to her Instagram account.

But her bubble quickly burst after a shock defeat to American Madison Brengle, after which Williams blamed the "abhorrent" Auckland conditions for her loss.

"At least I can get out of these conditions so I can get somewhere better, and warmer weather too," she said in a brief post-match press conference.

Neither Williams sister lived up to the pre-tournament hype as Serena's swift exit followed Venus' withdrawal from the event due to injury.

The draw's remaining superstar - former world No 1 Caroline Wozniacki - lost her quarter-final match with Julia Goerges who made a remarkable comeback.

Looking ahead to the men's ASB Classic, which begins tomorrow, the late injury withdrawal of Juan Martin del Potro robbed the tournament of some genuine star power. The Argentine is a marquee name, and one of only three men outside Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic to win a grand slam since 2009.

Barring further withdrawals, Auckland tennis will still see big names including David Ferrer, John Isner, Jack Sock, defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut and Feliciano Lopez.

Julian Savea takes a selfie with Caroline Wozniacki, Serena and Venus Williams. Photo / Photosport
Julian Savea takes a selfie with Caroline Wozniacki, Serena and Venus Williams. Photo / Photosport

There is also unpredictable Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis and surprise 2015 winner Jiri Vesely.

There will be plenty of entertainment off-court as well with chart-toppers Boh Runga and friends (Jason Kerrison, Carly Binding, Kurt Shanks), Kings, Isaac Aesili, the Nathan Haines Band and Sweet Mix Kids set to perform in The Serve hospitality area.

The Moet Ice Lunch will also be held on Friday, hosted by New Zealand designers and VIPS; including Silver Fern Kayla Cullen, Bachelor star Art Green and fashion writer Amber Peebles.

Fans can expect a mixed bag of cloud and sunshine during the men's competition over the next week, according to MetService meteorologist Claire Flynn.


Southwesterly winds are expected to lower the temperature slightly, which will be in the early 20s.

"It'll be a little bit breezy but not super strong. It'll be strong enough to contend with if you're playing tennis though."

The men's final is scheduled for Saturday.

Win with the Weekend Herald

The Weekend Herald has teamed up with the organisers of the ASB Classic to giveaway a double pass to Wednesday's day session of the men's tournament.

To be in to win, email news@heraldonsunday, with Tennis, in the subject field, and don't forget to include your name, address and phone number in the email. Entries close at 5pm, Monday January 9, 2017.

Women's finalists
Ana Konjuh
Age: 19
Country: Croatia
Career earnings: NZ$1,817,761
World singles ranking: 47
Trivia: After winning the Australian Open junior title in 2013, she got permission from her parents to get a tattoo of the word "Faith" on her left wrist

Lauren Davis
Age: 23
Country: United States of America
Career earnings: NZ$2,274,177
World singles ranking: 61
Trivia: Owns a French poodle named Pierre