Tennis: Serena Williams touches down for her second ASB Classic

One of the world's biggest sports stars has arrived in New Zealand for next week's ASB tennis Classic.

Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams touched down in Auckland on Friday morning and quickly headed to the practice courts.

She will start the tournament as the top seed, but winning here won't be easy - with the next generation of stars, led by one of her compatriots, ready to mount a serious challenge.

"Serena is Serena and I think that it's going to be hard to do more than everything she's done," Amanda Anisimova told Newshub.  

At 38 years old, Williams is in the twilight of her career, but with recent Grand Slam champions like Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty and Bianca Andreescu all under the age of 24, a new dawn is here.

When you add the likes of teenagers Coco Gauff and Anisimova, it's not so much next-generation but generation now.

"I think you're seeing a changing of the guard and some real excitement, particularly in women's tennis with what the future holds," tournament organiser Karl Budge told Newshub. 

Budge believes Anisimova and Gauff are the future.

They're the two youngest players ranked inside the top 100 in the world.

"Amanda could have finished top ten this year if it wasn't for the fact that she lost her father ahead of the US Open," Budge told Newshub. 

The American is currently ranked 24th in the world.

She won her first WTA title in Colombia in April last year before becoming the youngest player in over a decade to make the French Open semi-finals, beating defending champion Simona Halep in the quarters.

Asked if she thinks she can be the face of the game, Anisimova said: "I mean, I hope so". 

"Definitely winning a Grand Slam is my biggest goal this year."

The road to that Grand Slam starts in Auckland. 

So what better time than now to challenge a player who's been there and done that more than anyone in the modern era.