There are very few sporting events held in this country where 25 of the top 100 players in world compete.

Auckland's ASB women's classic has again delivered a quality line-up although the direct entry cut off has dropped around 20 places from last year.

That said, there is some real star power once against in the shape of world number three Caroline Wozniacki, two time Australian Open champion and former world number one Victoria Azarenka and former ASB Classic champion and a former world number two Agnieska Radwanska. The field could well be boosted by one or both of the Williams sisters with neither Venus nor Serena ruling out a return to Auckland this summer.

It's understood a significant amount of money is being offered to lure Serena Williams back, which would include win bonuses. The American had an unhappy time in Auckland this January, but went onto win the Australian Open and is likely to want to play a warmup tournament before the defence of her title in Melbourne, particularly since she hasn't played competitively since that triumph, due to her pregnancy and having a baby in September.


There are other players who haven't yet committed to playing the first tournament of the year as they recover from injuries such as former US and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who is another possibility to take up a wildcard if she recovers from a wrist injury.

One interesting entry is Croatian player Donna Vekic. The world number 55 is the partner of three times grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, a player tournament director Karl Budge is chasing for the men's field which is announced next week. Wawrinka who himself is returning from injury would likely be a late wildcard and a good experience for Vekic in Auckland could only help the cause.

New Zealand's Marina Erakovic is not in the field, due to her ranking having plummeted to 171 this year. A wildcard will be reserved for the kiwi who has been an ever present at the ASB Classic for more than a decade.

But there's a possibility Erakovic won't play, due to a nagging back injury which has hampered her in recent months. Erakovic isn't hitting at the moment and would need to start practicing on court soon to get in shape for the tournament which is just six weeks away.