The new edition of the ASB Classic will take place between January 13-18, serving as the last chance for the players to shape up their game before the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne. The ASB Tennis Arena will undergo significant improvements ahead of January, transforming the famous Yock Stand and preparing everything for a retractable roof that should come in the upcoming years.
World no. 4 Daniil Medvedev had been the first confirmed player for Auckland 2020 and the organizers have signed another Russian top-10 star, with Karen Khachanov signing to play the ASB Classic for the third time in last four years.
The third confirmed player is another young gun from the top-15, with Denis Shapovalov set to play in Auckland for the third straight year. The Tel Aviv native is yet to show his best tennis at the ASB Classic, losing in the second round in 2018 to Juan Martin del Potro and Joao Sousa this January, heading to Auckland as one of the title favorites in two months after a breakthrough season that saw him scoring the first ATP title, reaching the first Masters 1000 final last week in Paris and cracking the top-15 as the youngest player in that group.
"Honestly, I love the people there, the fans, the tournament is unbelievable. Leading up to the Grand Slam, it's calm, really chill week and I think that's super important for players before a hectic two weeks at a Grand Slam.
New Zealand's an unbelievable country. I feel like everyone is so friendly, and honestly, it's so nice and clean when you walk around the city. I have loved going there the last couple of years" said Shapovalov. "I am so happy to get Denis back to Auckland.
He is probably my favorite player to watch, and I have been a huge fan since I first watch him play at the Junior level. It's been a great year for him, breaking into the top-20, taking home his first title and now hitting a career-high ranking of 15 in the world.
We have always known what he has been capable of on court, and I think now we're starting to see that come through in his performances," said Budge. "It's the way he plays that made him top of my list to get back, he is all energy.
He out-Monfils'd Monfils last week in Paris – running, jumping, sliding. He is entertainment plus and that is what we want to see at the ASB Classic."