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Williams celebrates NYE on Auckland beach

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/12/2016

Serena Williams welcomed 2017 with a helicopter tour and a visit to a private beach on Waiheke Island with new fiance © Instagram Serena Williams welcomed 2017 with a helicopter tour and a visit to a private beach on Waiheke Island with new fiance Tennis ace Serena Williams has taken time out of her busy training schedule ahead of Auckland's ASB Classic to welcome in the new year.

The newly-engaged world number two took a helicopter to a private beach on Waiheke Island in Waitemata Harbour with fiance Alexis Ohanian.

Dressed in denim shorts and a t-shirt covered up with an ankle-length grey coat she posed for pictures, shot a quick video about the beauty of the island and the city and even dipped a toe in the water.

"I think what struck me most is really just the beauty of it. I knew it was always just a beautiful place because I've seen lots of wonderful scenery that's been shot here before but it's just different kind of seeing it in person," she said.

"I've never been in Auckland and so I've never had an opportunity to be first in the world to welcome in this new year so this is a new experience for me and the fact that I'm still having new experiences this deep into my career makes me feel really good."

Williams has been enjoying the "awesome" food in Auckland since she touched down on Friday morning as news of her engagement to Ohanian, a Reddit co-founder.

Williams will take on France's Pauline Parmentier in round one of her first appearance at the tournament.

Her elder sister Venus, who is returning for the fourth time will play New Zealand wildcard entry Jade Lewis.

Third seed Danish star Caroline Wozniacki, who posted a video of herself dancing to welcome in 2017 in Auckland, will take on American Nicole Gibbs.

This year marks the first time in the tournament's 61 years that the women's matches have sold out ahead of the men's.

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