ASB Classic organisers upset at late changes
Posted at 2:54pm on 06 Dec 2006
There's been some late changes in the draw for January's ASB Tennis Classic with players withdrawing due to other committments although they're in the bottom half of the draw.
India's Sania Mirza has been forced to withdraw with India qualifying for the Hopman Cup which is held at the same time .
It hasn't pleased tournament director Richard Palmer who says the WTA apparently has an arrangement with Hopman Cup organisers that it took precedence and which Palmer hadn't been told of.
Palmer says it highlights an area the WTA needs to take a serious look at.
He says players taking part in exhibitions or non tour events in the same week as WTA sanctioned events is an issue which all tournaments are concerned about and tournaments should take priority.
Other changes see American veteran Jill Craybas come into the field at 73, Camile Pin of France at 75 is also into the main draw while Emma Laine from Finland will make her debut Auckland at 77.
Another new player of note is Tiantian Sun a gold medalist in doubles at the Athens Olympics with countrywoman and a winner of nine doubles titles all with countrywoman Ting Li.
Sun also won her career-first singles title at Tashkent in October to rise to a career-high 80 in singles.
Czech player Eva Birnerova at 82 also comes into the direct entries.
The leading players for the 2007 ASB Classic are all in the top-20 rankings - Jelena Jankovic(12), Anastasia Myskina(16), Marion Bartoli(17) and Daniela Hantuchova(18).