Potential WTA tournament to clash with ASB Classic Matt Brown
Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic could be starved of a top quality field with a new tournament set to start in China in January.
The Auckland tournament has consistently attracted a bumper lineup ahead of the Australian Open, but that looks set to change ion 2013.
The WTA is expected to approve a tournament in Shenzen to compete with Auckland and the Brisbane event which has gone up to Premier status.
ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge admits there is fact behind the rumours, but he believes the new tournament will have its work cut out.
"There's a lot of boxes to get ticked in a very short space of time. I know how close to the tournament we're getting and how much work there is to do. At least we're coming from a background of having put this tournament on for a number of years."
Budge says many of the leading players would rather play an outdoor event in summer ahead of the Australian Open, than a Northern Hemisphere tournament indoors.
Having three tournaments in one week is a dreadful idea, let alone in the prime run-up week to a Slam.
Usually I'm all against 3 tournaments in a week...
But I think that the first week of the calendar is exactly the one week that could handle it.
It seems like everybody wants to play the weeks before AO.
Look at the cut-off:
Brisbane: 72 for Main Draw, 175 for Qualifying
Auckland: 71 for Main Draw, 175 for Qualifying
(I dont know how Kris Plyskova in Auckland and ChiChi Scholl in Brisbane are BOTH ranked 175 at the draws for the same week... But they are!)
Anyway, a lot of girls could benefit from a third tournament.
Specially girls who could play at AO-Q and decide not to travel all the way to the other side of the globe because "it could be just one match".