Photos from Auckland: Sister fun on Sunday

The new year started with a bang at the 2017 ASB Classic as the crowd in Auckland got treated with a spcecial show on Sunday when Serena & Venus Williams took the court for a fun-filled exhibition match featuring local star Marina Erakovic, Caroline Wozniacki and rugby players.

The fans got plenty of laughs as both tennis legends were in a playful mood, entertaining the capacity crowd that gathered in the ASB Arena ahead of tomorrow’s start of main-draw play.

While action on center court was all about the fun aspect of tennis, the outside courts had plenty of qualifying drama in store. Eight players are still in contention to make the tournament’s main draw, including Taylor Townsend, who will play fellow American Jamie Loeb after her win over Anna Blinkova.

Townsend is joined by young Czech talent Barbora Stefkova, who managed to get past Luxembourg’s Mandy Minella in what turned out to be a dramatic three-setter. Also through to the last qualifying stage is Germany’s Mona Barthel following a very dominant win over local Kiwi talent Joanna Carswell.

Both qualifying finals and the tournament’s first round are due to kick off tomorrow, with Serena Williams opening the tournament’s first night session this year against Pauline Parmentier.

Keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog for much more on the exciting start of the 2017 WTA season.

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2017 ASB CLASSIC:

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