There is likely to be more Danish delight for Auckland tennis fans next year. Caroline Wozniacki is tipped to return again as top seed, for what would be her fifth appearance at the ASB Classic.

There is also a possibility Venus Williams, who has once again defied her age with a stunning year on the circuit, could be back in the Queen City, although that appears less likely.

The evergreen Williams has been incredible in 2017. After reaching the final at the Australian Open and Wimbledon, she also made the semifinals at the US Open in New York two weeks ago.

The 37-year-old has yet to confirm her 2018 schedule, but it is possible she will opt to miss the first week of the year (Auckland's slot) - for the first time since 2014 - and instead play the second week, before the Australian Open.


Wozniacki, who was top of the WTA rankings for 67 weeks in 2010 and 2011, has also had an impressive season.

She reached the final in Toronto last month, beating world No1 Karolina Pliskova on the way, and has also made deciders in Bastad, Eastbourne, Miami, Dubai and Doha, as well as the last eight at Roland Garros.

The world No6 also has unfinished business in Auckland. She lost the 2015 final to Williams, was knocked out at the semifinal stage a year later and has reached the last eight on her other two visits, but has yet to lift the trophy.

Wozniacki would be the tournament's one permitted top 10 player, under WTA rules, assuming Agnieszka Radwanska, who was confirmed last week, doesn't climb higher than her current ranking of 11.

On the men's side, tournament director Karl Budge remains hopeful of luring a top 10 name, but that is a more complicated scenario given so few elite men play ATP events the week before the Australian Open.

Budge had been hopeful of reeling in three-time grand slam winner Stan Wawrinka but says that possibility is more remote now.

"A week ago, I was feeling quite confident but things have changed, like they always do," said Budge. "But we will keep looking at every possibility."