12:01am - Pera and Kuzmova match has been officially suspended, so we will leave our live coverage there. Check back in with us tomorrow for the second day's play at the ASB Classic.
11:58pm - As midnight approaches, another rain shower falls on centrecourt, delaying play some more. I wonder whether they will suspend the match until tomorrow... which is in one minute.
11:40pm - Kuzmova takes the first break of serve for a 4-3 lead over Pera in the first set on cnetrecourt.
Meanwhile, Erin Routliffe's hopes of doubles glory are shattered, with the Kiwi and American Caroline Dolehide crashing to Contreras Gomez and Harrison in the openind round.
Fernanda Contreras Gomez (Mexico)/Catherine Harrison (USA) beat Erin Routliffe (NZ)/Carlone Dolehide (USA) 7-5 6-4
11:02pm - Grabher has rattled home in the third set to overcome Marticonva to set up a clash with third seed Leylah Fernandez in the second round.
Julia Grabher (Austria) beat Tereza Marticonva (Czech Republic) 5-7 6-1 6-2
Next up on centrecourt, American fourth seed Bernarda Pera faces Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova in a match that will likely extend past midnight.
10:56pm - Venus Williams finally dispenses of Katie Volynets, which is no mean feat, when you consider she only won three matches in 2022. She will now meet Lin Zhu of China in the second round.
Venus Williams (USA) beat Katie Volynets (USA) 7-6(4) 6-2
Routliffe and Dolehide have dropped the opening set to Contreras Gomez and Harrison in doubles.
10:52pm - Volynets shows some spirit, breaking Williams and then holding serve to stave off defeat at 5-2, but Venus will serve again for the match.
10:42pm - Venus Williams is breezing through the second set against Kate Volynets, leading 5-0 and now serving for the match, taking charge after returning from the rain delay.
Meanwhile, Kiwi Erin Routliffe and American Caroline Dolehide are struggling to live up to their doubles top seeding, with thier opponents serving for the first set on the outside courts.
10:26pm - Austrian Julia Grabher has levelled her match with Czech Tereza Martincova at a set apiece, taking the second 6-1, but her rival has immediately broken serve in the third.
Williams has broken serve early in the second set against Volynets and threatens to do so again...
10:11pm - Venus Williams finally takes the tiebreaker 7-4 in the first set over Katie Volynets, while Grabher has the upper hand over Martincova on the outside court, after dropping the first set.
10:04pm - Players are back on court after a brief warm-up, with Volynets leading Williams 2-1 in their first-set tiebreak. Remember, we have another match scheduled after this one...
9:48pm - News from Stanley Street is that play has been suspended until at least 10pm, as the courts are dried off rain.
9:16pm - With Volynets leading the tiebreak 2-1, Williams is concerned about the slippery lines and sure enough, rain comes bucketing down and players leave the court. We could be in for a late one on opening night...
9:12pm - Volynets holds serve to force a first-set tiebreaker against Williams, while Martincova has won the war of attrition against Grabher, taking the opening set 7-5 on the outside court.
8:57pm - Volynets has broken Williams' service to take the first edge in the match and she is now serving for the opening set. Play ceases briefly, as Williams leaps out to a 30-0 lead against serve and Volynets expresses some concern over a slippery court.
When play resumes, Williams breaks back to love...
8:43pm - Grabher breaks again for a 4-3 lead, but Martincova breaks back again, while Williams and Volynets continue the status quo at 3-3.
8:35pm - Games going so serve so far between Williams and Volynets at 2-2, but Grabher and Martincova have broken twice each already at 3-3 in their first set.
8:01pm - Qualifer Ysaline Bonaventure has toppled American Catherine McNally on the Grandstand Court to progress to the second round of singles, where she will face Canadian Rebecca Marino.
Ysaline Bonaventure (Belgium) beat Catherine McNally (USA) 5-7 6-4 6-4
She has been joined at the next stage by third seed Leyla Fernandez, who has breezed past 15-year-old wildcard Brenda Fruhvirtova, and will now face the winners of Brabher v Martincova, about to start on Grandstand Court
Leylah Fernandez (Canada) beat Brenda Fruhvirtova (Czech Republic) 6-1 6-1
Meanwhile, Chan and Guarachi have dispatched Hibino and Tjandramulia in doubles play, booking a second round clash with Gamarra Martins and Neel.
Latisha Chan (Chinese Taipei)/Alex Guarachi (Chile) beat Nao Hibino (Japan)/Olivia Tjandramulia (Australia) 7-5 6-1
Next up, tennis legend Venus Williams takes on American Katie Volynets on centrecourt, while Julia Grabher of Austria takes on Czech Tereza Martincova on the outside court.
7:43pm - Chan and Guarachi have taken the first set of their doubles encounter against Hibino and Tjandamulia, 7-5.
7:33pm - Fernandez has raced to a 6-1 first-set advantange, breaking rival Fruhvirtova three times along the way, including the decisive game.
Meanwhile, Bonaventure is a service break up on McNally in the third set of their singles opener on Grandstand Court.
7:03pm - Bonaventure has forced a third set against McNally, winning the second set 6-4, after losing the first.
6:43pm - The ASB Classic loses its first seeded player in the opening match on centrecourt, with Chinese Lin Zhu rallying from a set down to topple sixth-seeded American Madison Brengle over 2h 48m.
Lin Zhu (China) beat Madison Brengle (USA) 4-6 7-6(6) 6-4
Zhu will now face the winner between Venus Williams and fellow American Katie Volynets later tonight. Next up, third seed Leylah Fernandez of Canada faces teenage wildcard Brenda Fruhvirtova on centrecourt.
Meanwhile, on the outside courts, Gamarra Martins/Neel have caused the first upset in doubles, toppling American fourth seeds Chang/Kulikov in a super tiebreaker.
Gamarra Martins (Brazil)/Neel (USA) beat Change (USA)/Julikov (USA) 6-3 4-6 10-6
They will face the winners between Hibino/Tjandramulia and Chan/Guarachi, now underway on Court One.
Also, qualifier Bonaventure is serving for the second set against McNally, after losing the first.
6:37pm - Brengle staves off defeat and then breaks Zhu, but still trails 3-5 in the third set,. needing another break of serve to stay in the fight.
6:30pm - Brengle is now serving to stay in the match, trailling Zhu 2-5 in the third set and staring elimination in the face.
Meanwhile, McNally has taken the first set 7-5 against Bonaventure and fourth seeds Chang/Kulikov have forced another super tiebreak in their doubles openeer against Gammar Martins/Neel.
6:07pm - Brengle has broken back and trails 1-2 in the third set, with her service to come.
Meanwhile, American Catherine McNally is serving for the first set at 5-4 against Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure on the Grandstand Court...
6:04pm - Zhu has broken Brengle to lead 2-0 in the third and deciding set, after losing the opening set and then battling back in the second-set tiebreaker. Are we about to lose our first sedd of the tournment?
5:51pm - Zhu has come back to take the second-set tiebreak 8-6 against Brengle to force the sixth seed into a third set on centrecourt.
5:45pm - Brengle has broken serve and is leading 4-2 in the second-set tiebreak, as she tries to close out her opening singles encounter against Zhu.
Meanwhile, Gamarra Martins and Neel have taken out the first set of their doubles encounter against Chang and Kulikov, 6-3, on Court One.
5:33pm - Brengle and Zhu are swapping service breaks like no-one wants to win, and the American must hold now at 5-6 to force a second-set tiebreak.
5:13pm - Canadian Rebecca Marino has swept through the second-set tiebreaker 7-3 to defeat Italian Dalma Galfi 6-3 7-6 and progress to the second round of singles. The eight seed will meet the winner of Belgian qualifer Ysaline Bonaventure v American Catherine McNally, which is the next match up on the Grandstand court.
Rebecca Marino (Canada) beat Dalma Galfi (Italy) 6-3 7-6(3)
Meanwhile, Brengle has broken Zhu's serve to level at 3-3 in the second set.
5:11pm - Marino and Galfi are into a second-set tiebraker, after reaching 6-6, with the Canadian taking the first set.
On centrecourt, Brengle is still seeking a service break to draw even with Zhu in the second set.
5:02pm - Good news from Stanley Street, where play has resumed in all three matches interrupted by rain. Third seeds Kato and Sujiadi have taken little time to wrap up their doubles opener 6-4 4-6 10-7 against Aussies Adamczak and Osborne in a super tiebreak.
They now progress to meet the winners of Martincova/Ruse v Hourigan/Vickery in the second round. Next up on Court One, Brazilian Gamarra Martins and American Neel face Americans Chang and Kulikov in doubles play.
Kato (Japan)/Sutjiadi (Indonisia) beat Adamczak (Australia)/Osborne (Australia) 6-4 4-6 10-7
4:40pm - Rain has ceased, but the courts will need to dry off before play can resume. Chances are this won't be the last stoppage today...
4:14pm - Players are scampering for cover, as light rain falls on Auckland, so there will be a delay to the opening matches.
On the outside courts, Aussies Adamczak and Osborne have levelled their doubles first round clash with third seeds Kato and Sutjiadi, capturing the second set 6-4, so they are about to embark on a superset to decide who progress.
Marino and Galfi are 4-4 in their second set, with a break apiece, while Zhu is still a break up on Brengle in their second set.
3:59pm - Sixth seed Brengle has broken her opponent's serve for the second time to take the first set 6-4 against Lin Zhu on centrecourt, but the Chinese immediately breaks to seize an early initiative in the second set.
3:44pm - Canadian Rebecca Marino has captured the opening set against Dalma Galfi 6-3, with two service breaks and three aces.
Third seeds Kato and Sujiadi have taken the opening set of their doubles clash with Aussies Adamczak and Osborne, 6-4, while American Madison Brengle is 5-4 up in the first set of her singles clash with Chinese Lin Zhu on centrecourt.
3:05pm - Weather in Auckland is overcast with some scattered light showers and breezy, as you'd expect at Stanley Street, but no rain right now, as players warm up for their opening matches and the crowd files in.
First up on centrecourt, American sixth seed Madison Brengle, who made the 2020 quarter-finals and ousted Serena Williams in 2017, takes on Chinese Lin Zhu, currently ranked 84th in the world.
On outside courts, eight-seeded Rebecca Marino of Canada faces Dalma Galfi of Italy, while Kato of Japan and Sutjiadi of Indonesia taken on Aussies Adamczak and Osborne in doubles.
Kia ora, good afternoon and welcome to Newhub's live coverage of the opening day's play at the ASB Classic women's tournament at Auckland's ASB Tennis Centre in Stanley Street.
The event returns from a three-year hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new director Nicolas Lamperin assembling a top-class field.
Defending champion Serena Williams has seemingly retired, but older sister Venus - the 2015 winner and seven-time Grand Slam victor - will contest the main draw as a wildcard as part of her build-up to the Australian Open.
Three other Grand Slam winners - Brit Emma Raducanu, and Americans Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin - are also among the 32-strong draw. Stephens (2016) is another former champion returning, along with American Lauren Davis, who prevailed in 2017 as a qualifier.
Ranked seventh in the world, American Coco Gauff is top seed, with lone Kiwi Erin Routliffe drawing a qualifier in her opening match. Routliffe and American Caroline Dolehide are top seeds in doubles.
The feature match of day one will see third-seeded Canadaian Laylah Fernandez facing teenager wildcard Brenda Fruhvirtova in the afternoon, while Williams takes on American qualifier Katie Volynets in the evening.
Today's order of play is:
Zhu (China) v 6-Prengle (USA)
Fruhvirtova v 3-Fernandez (Canada)
Q-Volynets (USA) v Williams (USA)
4-Vera (USA) v Kuzmova (Czech Republic)
Marino (Canada) v Galfi (Italy)
Q-Bonaventure (Belgium) v McNally (USA)
Grabher (Austria) v Martincova (Czech Republic)
1-Dolehide (USA)/Routliffe (NZ) v Contreras Gomez (Mexico)/Harrison (USA)
3-Kato (Japan)/Sutjiadi (Indonesia) v Adamczak (Australia)/Osborne (Australia)
Gamarra Martins (Brazil)/Neel (USA) v 4-Chang (USA)/Kulikov (USA)
HIbino (Japan)/Tjandramulia (Australia) v Chan (Chinese Taipei)/Guarachi (Chile)
ASB Classic breathes sigh of relief as big names avoid first-round clashes
By Alex Powell
ASB Classic tournament director Nicolas Lamperin can breathe a sigh of relief, as the major names have avoided daunting first-round match-ups when play begins on Monday.
With the tournament draw finalised on New Year's Day, top seed Coco Gauff will face Germany's Tatjana Maria, while second seed Sloane Stephens will face a qualifier.
As an unseeded player at this year's Auckland tournament, 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu will face Czech Republic's Linda Fruhvirtova in the first round.
Third seed Laylah Fernandez has been drawn to face wildcard Brenda Fruhvirtova.
As it stands, the draw would allow for a Raducanu v Gough and Stephens v Fernandez semi-final pairing, should all four players win their respective matches.
"If [Raducanu] had drawn Coco Gauff in the first round, it would have been an unbelievable match on Tuesday," Lamperin said. "There's nothing we can do about the draw, we'll just take whatever it presents to us.
"It's probably one of the highlights of the first round. Two different players following a different trajectory at the moment."
Kiwi wildcard Erin Routliffe will also face a qualifier on the Stephens-Fernandez side of the draw, although former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard has withdrawn through illness to end her hopes of reaching the main draw.
The start of play on Monday will see international tennis return to Kiwi shores for the first time since 2020, as the challenges of COVID-19 forced a three-year hiatus for the tournament.
About to oversee his first ASB Classic as tournament director, Lamperin feels the excitement at all levels.
"We're all very excited," he continued. "We've had very little time to get ready - six months when you'd normally have 12 months, but everything's on track.
"[There's] a few final touches here and there, but I think we'll be ready by tomorrow, when the first ball is hit at 3pm.
"We can really feel it by the number of ticket requests we're getting. Three years has been way too long.
"We're delighted to be bringing that feeling back to the fans in Auckland. I'm just hoping for some good weather in the next few years and then I'm sure we'll have a very successful event."
But despite the hype of this year's tournament, Lamperin insists he's in for the long haul. The coming weeks will only serve as the breaking of ground for the tournament under the Frenchman, who is confident the ASB Classic is only getting started under his watch.
"For me, 2023 is year one, we just want to make sure we deliver a top event," he added.
"We want to show all the stakeholders that the model still works - there's been a lot of challenges for the organisation over the last three years.
"Based on what we're hoping to achieve this year, we can start planning for the future."