AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Former world tennis number one Venus Williams has automatically advanced to the ASB Classic final in Auckland after fellow U.S. player Jamie Hampton withdrew from their semi-final playoff on Friday due to injury.
Organizers of the ASB Classic issued a brief statement just hours before the two pair were due on center court at Auckland's ASB Tennis Arena, saying world number 28 Hampton had withdrawn, but giving no details of the injury.
However, it was reported that Hampton had injured her hip in a warm-up earlier in the day and had decided to withdraw in order to compete in the year's first grand slam, the Australian Open, starting next week.
Williams will go on to face either Belgian Kirsten Flipkens or Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, who are also scheduled to meet in a semi- final playoff on Friday.
Williams, who is playing in New Zealand for the first time, has been one of the star attractions for the tournament, which ends with the final on Saturday.