Teen tennis sensation coming to ASB Classic

Coco Gauff. Photo: Getty
Coco Gauff. Photo: Getty
The 15-year-old American tennis sensation Cori "Coco" Gauff is coming to the ASB tennis Classic, in a major coup for the Auckland tournament.

Gauff captured the headlines in June by first becoming the youngest to qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, then by beating tennis legend Venus Williams in the first round. The youngster continued her winning ways and made it to the second week of the grand slam, confirming herself as the 'future of American tennis'.

At the US Open, Gauff was awarded wildcard entries into both the singles and doubles main draws, and continued her Grand Slam success, making it through to the third round before being beaten by world No 1 and 2018 US Open champion Naomi Osaka.

Last month, the teen became the youngest player to win a WTA title since 2004 when she beat world number 8 Kiki Bertens en-route to lifting the trophy at the Generali Linz Ladies Open in Austria.

She is the youngest player ranked in the top 100, already at just 68 in the world. The next youngest player is Amanda Anisimova at 18.2 years of age - almost three years her senior.

Gauff has also excelled on the doubles court where she regularly teams up with fellow American teen Caty NcNally. The pairing have won two WTA Tour titles together as a team this year, taking out the Citi Open in Washington in August, followed by the Luxembourg Open in October.

Previous to that she secured an ITF doubles title in February of this year, pairing up with New Zealander Paige Hourigan to take home the trophy from Surprise, Arizona.

2019 has been the year of the young guns on the world Tour, with world No.5 Bianca Andreescu the example of what a teen can do this season. Now Gauff, four years her junior, is hot on her heels.

ASB Classic Tournament director Karl Budge said it was a huge coup for the ASB Classic.

"Coco is probably the most in demand player on tour at the moment. She was the front page of almost every global publication after her Wimbledon triumphs and set the sport alight. We have had some superstars come through Auckland early in their careers, however Coco may well be the best of them all," said Budge.

The Atlanta native is looking forward to her first visit to New Zealand.

"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. However, I have a number of goals and things that I am working on in my game, and I can't wait to start my 2020 year at the ASB Classic," said Gauff.

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

The ASB Classic will run for two weeks; the women's tournament kicking off from 6-12 January followed by the men's tournament from January 13-18 2020.

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