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How the deal was made to bring Serena Williams back to Auckland

It seems like a flash strikes twice.

Before the events on Tuesday morning, it was unlikely that Serena Williams would be seen again on a tennis court in New Zealand.

The scenario seemed to be in the unimaginable category, like John Mitchell, who once again trains the All Blacks, or Michael Cheika, who conducts meditation workshops.

But it happened, and Serena Jameka Williams will be the headliner of the 2020 ASB Classic.


When she arrived in 201

7, it seemed like a one-time event. A bit like Tiger Woods, who played in Paraparaumu in 2002, George Best and Manchester United at Carlaw Park in 1967, or Björn Borg, who thrilled the crowds on Stanley Street in 1974.

Williams was pleased with her last visit until she dropped out of the second round in the notorious 4-6 7-6 (5) 4-6 defeat to Madison Brengle (# 53).

  Serena Williams from the USA. Photo / AP
Serena Williams from the United States. Photo / AP

The American made 88 mistakes in his career on a stormy day and did not hold back afterwards.

"I would say it's my least favorite conditions I've ever played under," Williams said. before adding that the ASB Classic "[was] is not a great opportunity to rate your game."

In her honor, Wiliams also described her flawed display as "unprofessional," but made it clear that she could not wait to come out again Dodge.

"At least I can get out of these conditions to get better somewhere and also warmer weather," Williams said. "I can comfort myself that the conditions are not the same as in Melbourne."

But she's back and will dominate the sporting media landscape here in early January.

How did that happen? [19659002] A week after their unlucky departure from Auckland, when their coaches Patrick Mouratoglou, Agent Jill Smoller and Williams teamed up with director of the ASB Classic tournament, Karl Budge, the Genesis was a & # 39; Clear the Air & # 39; Meet at the Australian Open.

At the time, all this was just a rough emotion [after the match] but she thought that she probably would have put things differently, "Budge said." We went very fast and there was really no bad blood. How about we get it right the next time … how do we get you back?

Serena indicated that she was open again for playing here and became the main target for Budge this year.

After a brief talk in Melbourne in January it was agreed that they would catch up during the American summer swing, and a 15-minute meeting at the Miami Open in March sealed the deal. [19659002] "It was a yes before we even talked about anything," Budge said. "It was a place she wanted to start her year, and we were pretty accommodating, funny enough, it was a very quick conversation, she said," Yup, I really want to do that, let's go and do it "

For her part, Williams said a sense of unfinished business has inspired her decision to return.

"Oh man, I want" The last time I was there was so much going on and although I prevailed to win my first match, I know I did not play at my level. " "I have such amazing memories that are very special to me from Auckland and I really want to add some memories of dishes to this list."

It's a huge coup for the event as the 37-year-old is a true sports legend ,

  American Serena Williams celebrates one point after defeating US American Alison Riske during a women's quarter-final match on the eighth day of the Wimbledon tennis championship. Photo / AP.
US American Serena Williams celebrates her victory over US American Alison Riske during a women's quarter final match on the eighth day of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Photo / AP.

23 Grand Slam singles titles, nine more grand finals and a series of double hits with sister Venus.

Williams spent 319 weeks as number one in the world, in a career of remarkable longevity.

Williams won her first Grand Slam in 1999, when Jacinda Ardern studied at the University of Waikato, Bill Clinton was President of the United States, and Richie McCaw attended high school.

Probably the best measure of her size is that there has hardly been a match in the past two decades when she did not start as a favorite.

It generally does not play any international events (the third stage) on The WTA Tour and the ASB Classic 2017 were their first in several years.

But she last enjoyed almost all of her Auckland experience, including a helicopter ride to a private beach on Waiheke Island, where she announced her engagement to Alexis Ohanian. and that resonated in the memory.

Williams has also realized that she has to adjust her schedule and play more, as conditioning has ultimately failed her in recent Grand Slams.

She is driven to break Margaret Court's Slam Record (24), and the 2020 Australian Open are another chance.

Auckland also has the advantage of offering a rockstar treatment, while in Brisbane it will be one of the big names in the new ATP Cup and local favorite Ash Bar ty in town.

Budge continues to hope that Venus Williams will also return to Auckland, although her 2020 timeline has not yet been established.

"We would love her and hope that we have our David Ferrer (parting moment with Venus," said Budge.) "I will move heaven and earth to make it happen if she decides to come."

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