The Auckland event will be returning to the WTA calendar for the first time since 2020 after a two-year hiatus, due to New Zealand’s closed borders during the Covid pandemics
Raducanu, who turned 20 earlier this week, is the fourth big signing for the ASB Women’s Classic in January, joining world No.7 Coco Gauff, fellow American Sloane Stephens (37) and fellow US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez (40) in the field, with the entry deadline early next month.
“I’m really looking forward to coming to New Zealand. I’ve heard so many good things about the tournament. It is a great way to start off the Australian Open swing,” Raducanu said.
“I have heard the tournament in New Zealand is great for players and fans. New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscape and nature, so I hope I can get to explore some of the other beautiful parts whilst I’m there
Although she has since struggled to produce anywhere near the jaw-dropping level she displayed for three weeks when she captured the 2021 US Open title, Raducanu is among the most marketable players in tennis, being the third highest-paid female athlete this year after securing multiple endorsements.
The deal to secure Raducanu was done before Tennis Australia launched their mixed team’s event last month, the United Cup. The multi-million dollar tournament has attracted 19 of the top 50 women’s players, but the ASB Classic tournament director Nicolas Lamperin was adamant Raducanu would have chosen Auckland anyway.