A very unfamiliar start to 2021 for ASB Classic director Karl Budge.
This time of year typically marks the start of the women's draw at the tennis tournament, and a week before the men's one gets underway.
But in October - due to Covid-related concerns - the event had to be cancelled for 2021, ridding New Zealand of its premier tennis event.
Budge admitted to Elliot Smith it hurts.
"It's obviously been a tough year for a lot of people in our industry. A lot of great events weren't able to go ahead, but we've been really buoyed by the support we've had."