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Tennis Buzz: The one title Serena wants to 'win so bad'...

August 20, 2019 10:30 IST

Serena Williams

IMAGE: Serena Williams lost to compatriot Madison Brengle, who was ranked 70 rungs lower, in her last Auckland appearance in 2017. Photograph: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Former world number one Serena Williams will begin her 2020 season with a return to the Auckland Open in January, her first appearance at the tournament since she was ousted in the second round in 2017.

The Auckland Open serves as a warm-up before the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, which begins on January 20 next year.

 

On her last Auckland appearance, then top seed Williams hit 88 unforced errors in windy conditions, losing to compatriot Madison Brengle, who was ranked 70 rungs lower.

"Oh man, I want to win that title so bad," Williams was quoted as saying by the tournament organisers.

"Last time I was there I had so much going on and although I fought through to win my first match, I know I didn't play to my level.

"I have such amazing memories that are really special to me from Auckland," she added, referring to her engagement to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian days before the 2017 tournament.

"I would really like to add some on court memories to that list."

Williams, 37, is due to compete at the US Open which begins next week but her preparations for the final Grand Slam of the year have been far from perfect with injuries limiting her time on court.

The 23-times Grand Slam champion retired from the Rogers Cup final in Toronto earlier this month because of back spasms, which led to her withdrawal from the Cincinnati Masters.

Anisimova withdraws from US Open following father's death

Amanda Anisimova

IMAGE: Amanda Anisimova upset defending champion Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of the French Open. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Rising American teenager Amanda Anisimova has withdrawn from the US Open following the death of her father and longtime coach Konstantin Anisimova, ESPN reported on Monday.

The cause of death was unknown.

The world number 24 and 2017 US Open junior champion looked to be a danger in Flushing Meadows after she upset defending French Open champion Simona Halep to reach the semi-finals of that tournament earlier this year.

Konstantin and wife Olga moved to the US from Russia in 1998 and under his guidance the 17-year-old rose up the WTA ranks.

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