One of the smash hits of the Auckland summer will light up the City of Sails from tomorrow – with some of tennis' biggest names set to unleash their power at the ASB Classic.

The action starts tomorrow with the women's ASB Classic running through until Saturday. Next Monday, the men's tournament will begin, with the final to be played on January 18.

Among the headliners will be former women's World No 1 Serena Williams who will be hoping for a much happier time on the court than her previous time here for the 2017 event.

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After being bundled out in just the second round, she immediately after took aim at some unseasonal windy weather she'd encountered.

"At least I can get out of these conditions so I can get somewhere better, and warmer weather too," she said after her loss to Madison Brengle.

"I would say it's my least favourite conditions I've ever played in. I really abhorred these conditions."

But off the court things were much brighter, with Williams announcing her engagement to Alexis Ohanian from a private beach on Waiheke Island.

Who to watch

It won't just be Williams to watch out for over the next week in the women's tournament.

Fellow former No 1 and tennis bestie Caroline Wozniacki is also determined to make an impact in what will be her final ASB Classic appearance before retiring later this year.

Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams will also team up in the doubles at the ASB Classic. Photo / Supplied
Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams will also team up in the doubles at the ASB Classic. Photo / Supplied

Late last year she told the Herald she understood Williams was also on a mission to make amends in Auckland.

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"I think she thought about it and she realised that Auckland would be a great place to start the year," Wozniacki said.

"And, you know, everyone can change their opinion and I think she is thrilled to be back."

The pair will team up in the women's doubles competition.

Other star players on show will be Canadian star and former World No 5 Eugenie Bouchard, 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko and Russia star Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard has plenty of fans in Auckland given her past ASB Classic form. New Zealand Herald photograph
Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard has plenty of fans in Auckland given her past ASB Classic form. New Zealand Herald photograph

The men's field also features an impressive array of stars, including former winner John Isner, highly-rated American Frances "Big Foe" Tiafoe, Russia's Karen Khachanov and fellow Russian and World No 4 Daniil Medvedev.

World No 12, Italian star Fabio Fognini also confirmed last month he would be playing.

"Fabio is one of the true entertainers on the ATP Tour," tournament director Karl Budge said.

"He is quite possibly the most naturally talented guy on tour. His array of shot making is unbelievable and is always entertainment plus. That is really important for us to have that variety and contrast of styles."

Tucking in court-side

One of the nicest spots to wine, dine – and be seen – will again be the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge.

The venue will combine fine dining with a "cool and relaxed poolside vibe", with guests able to set up base in cabanas, deck chairs or bean bags and watch the action on a big screen.

Hard-hitting American John Isner is a crowd favourite at the ASB Classic. New Zealand Herald photograph
Hard-hitting American John Isner is a crowd favourite at the ASB Classic. New Zealand Herald photograph

Other food outlets include Maison de L'Or offering a range of French fare, Hawker & Roll with its Malaysian street-eats taste sensations, Lobster & Trap will be serving lobster rolls, The Bach's menu includes a range of hot and cold items including sushi, baguettes and steamed pork buns, and The Stanley will be serving a range of platters.

For those who have worked up a thirst, the Heineken Bar will be a must-visit, serving food as well as full-strength, half-strength and non-alcoholic Heineken. The Babich Wine Bar will also be offering a selection of some of New Zealand's best wines, plus tapas-style dishes.

Entertainment

It won't just be some of world tennis' most exciting names entertaining the crowds who head to the 2020 ASB Classic.

A host of local artists will also be performing live during the two-week tournament as part of the Beats on the Serve initiative.

Punters having fun at the Moet Ice Brunch during the 2018 ASB Classic. New Zealand Herald photograph
Punters having fun at the Moet Ice Brunch during the 2018 ASB Classic. New Zealand Herald photograph

And one of the Classic's most-loved off-court events will also be back this year, the Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Long Lunch.

Guests will enjoy a stylish afternoon of fresh New Zealand cuisine, ice cold Moët and exciting entertainment, all poolside within the ultra-chic Moët & Chandon Ice Rocks Lounge

It has an all-white and rosé theme, so guests are encouraged to don their best tennis whites and incorporate pops of pink into their outfit.

Karen Khachanov from Russia is one of the highly rated players in the men's ASB Classic field. New Zealand Herald photograph
Karen Khachanov from Russia is one of the highly rated players in the men's ASB Classic field. New Zealand Herald photograph

Tennis etiquette

• Don't talk or make noise between points

• Don't stand up until the end of a point

• Don't heckle or boo

• Turn your phone off or to silent

• Don't use the flash on your camera or phone when taking photos

• Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated

• Do dress up (if you want to)

Weather

Serena Williams may not get the lovely weather she was hoping for during her latest appearance in Auckland.

Opening day of the ASB Classic tomorrow is set to feature morning rain, strengthening southwesterly winds and fine spells.

Caroline Wozniacki will be making her farewell appearance at the ASB Classic next week. New Zealand Herald photograph
Caroline Wozniacki will be making her farewell appearance at the ASB Classic next week. New Zealand Herald photograph

Southwesterlies are expected for the remainder of the week during the women's tournament, also with the possibility of some showers among a mix of cloudy and sunny weather.

The MetService is yet to make a projection for the second week of the ASB Classic when the men will do battle at the Stanley St complex.

Tickets

Tickets are still available for most days of the tournament, including from as little as $14.

Italian star Fabio Fognini has been described as one of the best entertainers on the tennis circuit. New Zealand Herald photograph
Italian star Fabio Fognini has been described as one of the best entertainers on the tennis circuit. New Zealand Herald photograph

Tournament officials have previously issued warnings to would-be event-goers to only buy tickets from official supplier Ticketek, saying they "cannot guarantee" the authenticity of tickets from unlicensed sellers.

For more information and availability, visit: https://www.asbclassic.co.nz/tickets/