Tennis: More work still needed to improve on 'nearly perfect' ASB Classic tournaments

The 2024 ASB Classic is officially done and dusted for another year, with Chilean qualifier Alejandro Tabilo taking out the the men's final on Saturday.

The Auckland event is being described as a huge success compared to last year, with record crowds and many international names taking part, but organisers know they'll must make changes to keep players coming back.

Less than 24 hours later, Stanley Street already looks very different.  

A general view of the mens singles final. Alejandro Tabilo of Chile vs Taro Daniel of Japan at the ASB Classic tennis tournament in Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday January 13, 2024. (Andrew Cornaga / Photosport)

"We've had unbelievable feedback from the players and the tour about their experience in Auckland," said tournament director Nico Lamperin. "Very different from last year."

IN 2023, the city was hammered with rain and high winds, creating an event to forget. 

Thankfully, the weather played ball this year, helping sell a record number of tickets, but organisers are still focused on adding a roof to the arena by 2026. 

"OK, maybe this year it wasn't needed, because we had unbelievable weather, but we also know that's not going to be the case very single year," said Lamperin. 

Along with the roof, there are plans to expand the centrecourt and create more areas for players. 

"The WTA is asking for a quiet space," said Lamperin. "We need a space for recovery."

Without focusing too much on what needs to be done, many players admit they want to come back to New Zealand. 

"I would love to come back," said men's champion Tabilo. "I feel great here and I really love playing here." 

"Hopefully, I will be back," said women's runner-up Elina Svitolina. "I would love to come and play more tennis here."

Lamperin admits 2024 was almost perfect, rating it a nine out of 10, but to get that 10/10, there might be a lot more development at Stanley Street in the years come.