Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov, the first and third seeds, crashed out of the Auckland Open in their opening matches on Wednesday.

World number 12 Fognini was facing Feliciano Lopez, the oldest player in the draw at 38 who had already won a match earlier in the day as the tournament schedule caught up following weather delays.

Lopez beat Pablo Andujar in three close sets before coming from behind to prevail against Italian Fognini, winning 3-6 6-4 6-3 in just under two hours.

"The first match was tough for me, but I think it was very helpful because it was my first singles match of the season," said Lopez after his day of double duty.

"Without that match, I don't think I would have played the way I did against Fabio."

Australian John Millman recovered from a set down to oust Russian Khachanov 4-6 6-3 6-3.

Denis Shapovalov is the highest seed left in the draw, having defeated fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4 7-6 (7-2).

Defending champion Tennys Sandgren is out after another former winner of the event, John Isner, triumphed 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 in an all-American round-of-16 encounter.

Seeds Benoit Paire and Hubert Hurkacz made it to the quarter-finals, as did Kyle Edmund and Ugo Humbert, who will now play Shapovalov.

At the Adelaide International, Felix Auger-Aliassime won his first match against wildcard James Duckworth, a 6-3 7-6 (7-0) win sending the second seed into the last eight.

Auger-Aliassime said: "Now I'm at a point where I was top 20 in the world. I reached three finals. Now every tournament I play, I play to win. I come, I want to reach the final. I want to give myself a chance to win titles."

Qatar Open champion Andrey Rublev continued his momentum with a 6-3 6-3 win over Sam Querrey and fourth seed Pablo Carreno Busta also progressed in straight sets.

There was a shock, though, as seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff was beaten 6-3 6-4 by wildcard Alex Bolt.

Albert Ramos-Vinolas joined Bolt in the quarter-finals, as did qualifiers Lloyd Harris and Tommy Paul.

Benoit Paire held off a fighting challenge from rising star Jannik Sinner to move into the second round of the Auckland Open, while top seed Alex de Minaur withdrew from the Adelaide International.

At the first edition of the ATP tournament in Adelaide, sixth seed Cristian Garin fell to Lloyd Harris, the South African qualifier winning 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-4.

Jeremy Chardy defeated fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon in straight sets, with Dan Evans, Sam Querrey and home hope James Duckworth the other players to progress.

The action came as top seed De Minaur pulled out of the event after aggravating an abdominal injury while representing Australia at the ATP Cup.

"I have seen the physios, I have seen the doctors and I will be continuing to do that for the whole of the week and hopefully I will be ready to play in Melbourne," De Minaur said ahead of the Australian Open.

In Auckland, Italian Sinner – winner of the Next Generation ATP Finals in November – took number five seed Paire to a final set but the Frenchman eventually prevailed 6-4 2-6 6-4 in one hour and 55 minutes.

Defending champion Tennys Sandgren started his campaign with a routine 6-4 6-3 triumph over wildcard Michael Venus.

But last year's beaten finalist Cameron Norrie was knocked out in straight sets by qualifier Thiago Monteiro, with American Frances Tiafoe also being eliminated at the hands of qualifier Mikael Ymer.

Hubert Hurkacz and Ugo Humbert saw off Lorenzo Sonego and Casper Ruud respectively in Monday's other matches.

Serena Williams finally ended her wait for a first title since becoming a mother with victory in the Auckland Open final on Sunday.

The 23-time grand slam champion saw off fellow American Jessica Pegula, winning 6-3 6-4.

Though Williams won the 2017 Australian Open while pregnant, she has experienced plenty of frustration since returning to the circuit following the birth of her daughter.

However, the weight of her title drought has now been lifted going into the first slam of the year at Melbourne Park, where she is the bookmakers' favourite to equal Margaret Court's all-time record for major wins.

Here we look back on Williams' six finals since her return.

Wimbledon 2018 v Angelique Kerber - Lost 6-3 6-3

Seeded 25th, Williams produced a remarkable performance to reach the final at the All England Club less than a year after giving birth. She did not drop a set until the quarter-finals, but was handily beaten by Kerber in the championship match.

Looking back on her performance in finals, Williams said after the 2019 US Open: "Kerber doesn't count because I was exhausted. My baby was eight months, and that's tough."

US Open 2018 v Naomi Osaka - Lost 6-2 6-4

Little about the excellent performance of Osaka is remembered as the contest was overshadowed by Williams' furious exchange with umpire Carlos Ramos that saw her receive three code violations, resulting in a game penalty. The trophy ceremony was marred by boos from the crowd, with Williams having to comfort a tearful Osaka.

Wimbledon 2019 v Simona Halep - Lost 6-2 6-2

Williams looked in imperious form at SW19 and few would have bet against her going into the final, but she was blown away by Halep, who cruised to an emphatic victory in just 56 minutes to win her second grand slam.

Rogers Cup 2019 v Bianca Andreescu - Lost 3-1 ret.

In an eventual preview of the US Open final, Williams was betrayed by her body as she was forced to retire after four games in Toronto. Appearing in tears as she was treated by the trainer, Williams was unable to continue after seeming to complain of back spasms.

US Open 2019 v Bianca Andreescu - Lost 6-3 7-5 

Another rout appeared on the cards as teenager Andreescu stunningly raced to a 5-1 lead in the second set. However, Williams - willed on by the ear-splitting roar of the Arthur Ashe crowd - fought back to level at 5-5 and at that point a turnaround appeared inevitable. The Canadian recovered, however, and dealt Williams her fourth consecutive major final defeat.

Auckland Open 2020 v Jessica Pegula - Won 6-3 6-4

Williams laid down an ominous marker when she brushed aside the promising Amanda Anisimova in just 44 minutes in the semi-final and Pegula had no answer in the showpiece as the 38-year-old claimed her 73rd WTA title. She was able to celebrate winning a tournament with daughter Alexis Olympia for the first time and announced she would donate her prize money to the Australian bushfire relief effort.

Just over a week out from the Australian Open, Williams looks in blistering form as she eyes a record-tying slam.

Serena Williams said winning in Auckland was "just a step towards the next goal" as she heads to Melbourne for a shot at history in the Australian Open.

The 38-year-old American succeeded in her mission to land a first trophy since landing her 23rd grand slam at Melbourne Park in 2017.

She was absent from the tour for 12 months while becoming a mother and had since been unable to capture a title, losing five finals - including four in grand slams.

The defeats were becoming a worrying trend, but a 6-3 6-4 victory over compatriot Jessica Pegula in the Auckland Open final on Sunday broke that streak.

Now Williams heads to Australia with a 24th slam her target as she bids to move level with Margaret Court at the top of the all-time list.

"It's pretty satisfying just to get a win in the finals," Williams said. "I think that was really important for me and I just want to build on it.

"Obviously, it's just a step towards the next goal."

Williams could not make it a twin success as she and Caroline Wozniacki fell to Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend in the doubles final.

"I'm OK with what happened," Williams said in a post-match news conference.

"I'm glad I was able to get a title in the singles - it's been a while. But I've been in the finals a lot, so I just keep going and just keep trying."

Victory over Pegula gave Williams a 73rd WTA singles title, meaning she has won tournaments in four decades, starting with five she won in 1999 as a teenager.

The Australian Open begins on Monday, January 20.

Former world number one Serena Williams claimed her first WTA Tour title in three years after winning the Auckland Open on Sunday.

Not since winning the 2017 Australian Open had Williams clinched silverware – the 23-time grand slam champion a runner-up at Wimbledon (2018 and 2019) and the US Open (2018 and 2019), while she retired in the 2019 Rogers Cup final.

However, Williams ended her drought by defeating fellow American Jessica Pegula 6-3 6-4 in the women's final in New Zealand.

"It feels good. It's been a long time. I think you could see the relief on my face," Williams said during her on-court interview before announcing she will donate her prize money (and a dress from each of her matches) to the bushfire relief effort in Australia.

Williams was almost flawless against Pegula, stepping up her preparations for the upcoming Australian Open with two aces and just one break of serve to capture her 73rd WTA crown – a record stretching across four decades after winning her first in 1999.

After a sluggish start, which saw the top seed fall 3-1 behind in the opening set, Williams eventually found her range en route to the 38-year-old's first trophy as a mother.

After snapping a sequence of five defeats in finals since her 2017 triumph at the Australian Open, Williams will look to equal Margaret Court's record of 24 slam titles at Melbourne Park.

Meanwhile, defending champion and second seed Karolina Pliskova won the Brisbane International for a second straight year after outlasting Madison Keys in three sets.

Pliskova prevailed 6-4 4-6 7-5 over eighth seed Keys for her third victory at the WTA Premier event in Brisbane.

Serena Williams was in brilliant form to reach the Auckland Open final, while Karolina Pliskova saved a match point to beat Naomi Osaka in a thrilling Brisbane International semi.

Williams needed just 44 minutes to crush 18-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-1 6-1 in their last four clash at the WTA International tournament in New Zealand.

The 23-time grand slam champion mixed 17 winners with six unforced errors and lost just nine points on serve. Williams served five aces and converted all five of her break points in a dominant display in the lead up to the year's first grand slam in Melbourne.

The American moved into her 98th WTA Tour final and will be aiming for a 73rd title but first since the 2017 Australian Open when she faces Jessica Pegula.

Pegula upset fifth seed Caroline Wozniacki 3-6 6-4 6-0 in their semi-final.

A two-time runner-up, Wozniacki – who will retire after the 2020 Australian Open – won just 10 points in the third set.

Wozniacki will contest the doubles final with Williams against Taylor Townsend and Asia Muhammad.

In Brisbane, Pliskova lost a first set on a tie-break in which she squandered two set points and saved four, and was staring down the barrel after Osaka broke for a 6-5 lead in the second.

However, Osaka's first serve on match point was overly tentative and a series of errors handed Pliskova the break back. The second seed took full advantage, winning the subsequent tie-break and taking the decider in comfortable fashion to defeat the reigning Australian Open champion 6-7 (10-12) 7-6 (7-3) 6-2.

Earlier, Madison Keys rallied past Petra Kvitova to clinch a 3-6 6-2 6-3 victory, meaning there will be no all-Czech final in Queensland.

At the Shenzhen Open, Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova clinched her maiden WTA Tour title with a 6-2 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina in the final.

Serena Williams delivered a stellar display at the Auckland Open, saying she was "in the zone" in a thrashing of Amanda Anisimova on Saturday.

Williams needed just 44 minutes to crush 18-year-old Anisimova 6-1 6-1 in the semi-finals of the WTA International event.

The 23-time grand slam champion was in fine form in the lead up to the Australian Open, producing 17 winners and six unforced errors to move into the final against Jessica Pegula.

"I was definitely in the zone today. It was just one of those days," Williams said during an on-court interview.

"I knew I was playing a really, really great player and an even better person so I knew I had to come out serious."

Williams added: "It feels good. I've been working really hard for a couple of years.

"My daughter is only two, I tend to be really hard on myself, but considering everything I'm doing pretty good."

Williams moved into a 98th WTA Tour final and will be aiming for a 73rd title and first since the 2017 Australian Open.

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki teamed up to reach the Auckland Classic doubles final after making the final four in the singles, while Naomi Osaka will challenge Karolina Pliskova for the number two ranking in Brisbane.

Williams and Wozniacki, playing as a pair for the first time, beat the top seeds in the quarter-finals and saved five set points in their opening set against Kirsten Flipkens and Alison Van Uytvanck before sealing a 7-6 (11-9) 6-2 victory to advance to the final.

They will play the winners of Saturday's all-American clash that sees Coco Gauff and Caty McNally take on Asia Muhammad and Taylor Townsend.

Earlier on Friday, Williams came from a break down in the second set to beat Laura Siegemund 6-4 6-3 and book an exciting semi-final against Amanda Anisimova, a 6-2 3-6 6-4 winner against wildcard Eugenie Bouchard.

Asked if she felt in good shape ahead of the Australian Open, Williams said: "I definitely feel that, and I feel like my match yesterday [against Christina McHale] was great.

"It's great that I went three sets, and it's great that I ran so much. I came out today just overall feeling better and doing better.

"Especially the match fitness – I'm super fit, but match fitness is a little different, so I think all these matches are really helping."

Wozniacki will face Jessica Pegula, who progressed when Alize Cornet retired at 6-0 3-2 down, after a routine 6-1 6-4 victory over defending champion Julia Goerges.

Osaka can improve her seeding ahead of the Australian Open if she makes the final at the Brisbane International, and standing in her way is her direct rival in world number two Pliskova.

Two-time major winner Osaka – ranked fourth in the world – had to fend off five break points to close out a 6-3 3-6 6-3 triumph over Kiki Bertens in the quarter-finals.

Reigning champion Pliskova lies in wait in the last four, though she had to stave off two set points in the first before winning 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 against Alison Riske. Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys will contest the other semi-final.

Garbine Muguruza was unable to kick off 2020 with a final appearance as she lost 6-4 6-3 to Ekaterina Alexandrova in the semi-finals of the Shenzhen Open.

Elena Rybakina, who beat Kristyna Pliskova 6-2 7-5, stands between Alexandrova and a first singles title on the WTA Tour.

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki are making the most of the time they have left together on the women's tennis tour - moving two wins away from landing a trophy together.

American superstar Williams and Denmark's former Australian Open champion Wozniacki have been firm friends for a long time, often spending time together away from the circuit.

But Wozniacki is just weeks away from retirement, so there was no time like the present for the pair to team up in doubles for the first time, and almost certainly the last.

And at the Auckland Classic, the crowd-pleasing Williams-Wozniacki partnership could be destined for silverware after a thumping 6-2 6-1 victory over top seeds Caroline Dolehide and Johanna Larsson took them through to the semi-finals.

"I'm happy to have my second win in 10 years in doubles! But I've got the best partner," Wozniacki said in an on-court interview.

Williams returned the compliment, saying, according to the New Zealand Herald: "We are having a blast. I'm having a blast. [She is] the most fun partner. It's great."

Former singles world number one Wozniacki has barely played doubles in the past decade, and had not won a tour match in the format since a rare outing alongside Malou Ejdesgaard at the 2011 Danish Open.

Williams, however, brings all the credentials in the world. When Williams plays doubles, invariably she is in it to win it.

She and sister Venus have a 100% record in the grand slam doubles finals they have reached as a team, landing 14 of those major titles together, while they also have picked up three Olympic titles.

Indeed, the last time Serena reached a women's doubles final but fell short was way back in 1999, when she and Venus were runners-up at the Southern California Open.

Wozniacki bows out of tennis after the Australian Open, having decided at the age of 29 the time has come to explore what else life has to offer.

She and Williams, who beat Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya in round one, face a wait to learn who their last-four opponents will be.

But lurking on the other side of the draw, also into the semi-finals, are a pair who should play a big part in the future of women's tennis: American teenagers Coco Gauff and Caty McNally.

Gauff, 15, and McNally, 18, saw off the second seeds - Lara Arruabarrena and Renata Voracova - in their opening match and followed up by brushing aside Australians Jessica Moore and Arina Rodionova 6-3 6-2.

Serena Williams described her victorious comeback as "solid" after she beat Camila Giorgi in straight sets at the Auckland Classic in her first match since the US Open.

The 23-time grand slam champion had taken a break after losing to Bianca Andreescu at Flushing Meadows.

Having warmed up with a doubles win alongside Caroline Wozniacki on Monday, Williams was back in singles action on Tuesday and cruised past Giorgi 6-3 6-2 in a little over another hour.

"I thought it was solid, technically my second match of the year," she said.

"Spent a long time off from tournament play, match play, so solid is pretty good. It's a great start to build on.

"It's definitely not easy [to get the rhythm back]. It's always hard to play a match early in the season."

Williams will face Christina McHale next and could meet 15-year-old Coco Gauff for the first time in the quarter-finals.

Her doubles partner Wozniacki, who will retire after the Australian Open, also progressed having dropped just one game against Paige Mary Hourigan.

Former world number one and defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka had more difficulties in beating Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 at the Brisbane International.

Sakkari had the momentum in the decider when she forged an early break, yet Osaka fought back and converted her second match point after double faulting with her first.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens, who, like Osaka, started the new season ranked in the world's top 10, also advanced in three sets with respective wins against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Dayana Yastremska, while Jennifer Brady came from a set down to oust Maria Sharapova.

Belinda Bencic was eliminated at the Shenzhen Open, though, the world number eight and top seed beaten 3-6 6-3 6-3 by Anna Blinkova.

Defending champion and second seed Aryna Sabalenka was also knocked out as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Kristyna Pliskova.

Coco Gauff won her first match of the 2020 WTA Tour season in little over an hour at the Auckland Classic, while Serena Williams' singles bow was delayed.

Fifteen-year-old Gauff - a breakout star in 2019 - is in the same quarter of the draw as 23-time grand slam champion Williams, meaning the pair could meet in the last eight.

Gauff has never faced Serena but stunned her sister Venus Williams at Wimbledon last year.

The teenager took a step towards a first clash with the 38-year-old as she saw off Viktoria Kuzmova 6-3 6-1 in the first round on Monday.

"I felt confident, I feel like I'm moving well," Gauff said, with Laura Siegemund or Alison Van Uytvanck up next. "I had a good off-season, and I think that's showing in my matches."

Williams was not in singles action for the first time this year, however, as opponent Svetlana Kuznetsova withdrew, meaning the American must instead play Camila Giorgi on Tuesday.

The WTA great was still able to thrill the Auckland crowd, as she joined the soon-to-retire Caroline Wozniacki in the doubles, beating Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-2 6-4.

"I had a blast," Williams said. "It's so good to play with her - it's like a dream come true."

Wozniacki, who is calling time on her career at the Australian Open, added: "It's amazing to be able to share the court with Serena."

Elsewhere in the singles, Caroline Garcia recovered from a set down to beat Taylor Townsend, while Eugenie Bouchard, Daria Kasatkina, Tamara Zidansek, Jil Teichmann and Jessica Pegula all also advanced.

There were upsets at the Brisbane International, meanwhile, as Danielle Collins crushed Elina Svitolina 6-1 6-1.

Home hopeful Sam Stosur got the better of fellow former major winner Angelique Kerber, recovering in a tough first set to claim consecutive tie-breaks.

"This is the way I want to be all the time on court," Stosur said. "I put more pressure on myself than anyone could ever do."

Ajla Tomljanovic came through three sets, as did Barbora Strycova against Johanna Konta, with Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske also winning.

Aryna Sabalenka cruised through in Shenzhen, while Garbine Muguruza was made to work for victory against Wang Xinyu.

Wang Qiang and Elena Rybakina ensured all four seeds in action on Monday made it into the second round.

Serena Williams said she is eyeing the record for most grand slam women's singles titles at the Australian Open amid the former world number one's drought.

Williams remains one trophy behind Margaret Court at the top of the all-time list – the 23-time major champion without a slam crown since the 2017 Australian Open.

The 38-year-old Williams lost two major finals last year – Wimbledon and the US Open – having also finished runner-up at the All England Club and Flushing Meadows in 2018.

As Williams targets a record-equalling 24th slam success, the American superstar told reporters: "It's meant a lot to me for a while and now it is just about getting over that one hump.

"I'm almost there, and I'm confident that I'll get there."

Williams is preparing for the Australian Open, which gets underway on January 20, with a trip to New Zealand for the Auckland Open.

The veteran has not played since her US Open final loss to Bianca Andreescu in New York in September.

"It was tough for me," Williams said. "I really felt like I was close but I didn't really show up in those matches.

"So I have to figure out a better way to compete in those."

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has delayed the start of her season by withdrawing from the Auckland Open.

Andreescu was due to take part in the WTA Tour event, which runs from January 6-12, alongside a strong field that includes Serena Williams and Coco Gauff.

But the Canadian will instead take further time to recuperate from the knee injury she sustained at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen in October, with ensuring full fitness for the upcoming Australian Open a likely factor in her decision.

Andreescu, the world number five, released a video on social media expressing her sorrow at having to withdraw from an event she was runner-up in at the start of this year.

"I'm super disappointed about it," the 19-year-old said.

"But I spoke to my team and I really have to do what's best for my knee right now. 

"I have so many amazing memories there, so hopefully I can create more in 2021."

Serena Williams is determined to come out swinging at the Australian Open next month and is taking tips from Mike Tyson on how to pack a punch.

At 38, Williams is in supreme shape but still sees room for improvement, and this week's boxing training session with former world heavyweight boxing king Tyson should help her go blow for blow with her tennis rivals.

The 23-time grand slam champion is eyeing the elusive 24th that would take her level with Margaret Court's record haul.

Williams last won a slam in 2017 at Melbourne Park, since when she has lost two Wimbledon finals and two US Open title matches.

In an Instagram video posted by her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, Williams is shown throwing full-blooded shots into a punch bag being held in place by Tyson.

Mouratoglou captioned the video: "Hit that punching bag like you wanna hit the ball!"

Tyson, bald and grey-bearded now at the age of 53, shows Williams how to direct her punches and throws some of his own at the bag, with a smiling Mouratoglou watching on.

The video drew a response from Hollywood actor Hilary Swank, who trained for a week in June at Mouratoglou's academy in France.

Williams and Tyson teamed up in Florida, where Mouratoglou has assembled a pre-season camp.

Tyson's tennis-playing daughter Milan has been part of the camp, as has 15-year-old Coco Gauff, who starred at Wimbledon and the US Open before winning her maiden WTA title at Linz in October.

"Wish I were there!!!!" Swank said.

Mouratoglou responded: "You were invited, just to say..."

Williams will begin her 2020 season at the Auckland Open, with the WTA event running from January 6 to 12. The Australian Open begins on January 20.

Coco Gauff will do battle against the likes of Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu on the first week of the new WTA Tour season after signing up to play in the Auckland Open.

The 15-year-old sensation is limited in the number of tournaments she can play before turning 16 but has opted to play the WTA International event in New Zealand.

Gauff won her first senior title at the Linz Open last month and will use the Auckland tournament, which begins on January 6, as part of her preparation for the Australian Open.

US Open finalists Andreescu and Williams are also scheduled to be part of the field, meaning Gauff could meet either during the tournament, along with two-time defending champion Julia Goerges.

Gauff's success this year included a famous run to the fourth round of Wimbledon, where she became the youngest player in the Open era to come through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw. Her exploits helped to secure a year-end ranking of 68.

She told the tournament website: "I can’t wait to start my season in Auckland. 2019 was such an incredible year and I achieved so many of the goals that I had set for myself. Wimbledon was obviously a highlight as was capturing my first WTA title.

"So many players talk about Auckland. I have not been before so this will be cool to experience."

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