Auckland Open back for 2023 after COVID hiatus | Tennis News

Top-level tennis will return to New Zealand next January for the first time in three years with big names promised for the men’s and women’s Auckland Open tournaments, organizers announced on Tuesday.
Serena Williams was the last WTA event champion at the ASB Tennis Center in early 2020 before New Zealand locked down its borders in an attempt to keep the COVID-19 virus out of the country.
Travel restrictions have eased this year and the government said in May that international borders would open fully to visitors from the end of July.
This paved the way for the Australian Open warm-up events to return to New Zealand’s biggest city under a new tournament director, Frenchman Nicolas Lamperin.
“The Auckland tournaments are popular with players and are among the top 250 events on the calendar,” said Lamperin, a players’ agent who counts Marion Bartoli, Stan Wawrinka, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils among his clients.
“I’m thrilled to get to work and carry on the legacy of what is one of the highlights of the summer.”
Frenchman Ugo Humbert won the 2020 edition of the ATP tournament, which is traditionally played the week after the women’s event.
The 2023 tournaments are set to take place from January 2-14, organizers said, with the Australian Open set to kick off in Melbourne on January 16.

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