ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge is confident the Auckland tennis tournament won't be adversely affected by a rival WTA event starting up in China.

The WTA has confirmed a tournament in Shenzhen in the same week of Auckland and the Premier Brisbane event.

There are fears it will severely weaken the Classic which attracted eight of the top 32 players in the rankings last summer.

But Budge can't see leading players wanting to prepare for the Australian Open in the Chinese winter.


"I don't think any of the top players are going to be queuing up and using that tournament as their preparation for one of the biggest tournaments of the year,'' he says.

Karl Budge hopes to announce his first major signings for the Classic and the Heineken Open in the middle of next month.