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Record breaking teen sensation 'Coco' Gauff coming to ASB Classic

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

15-year-old American Cori "Coco" Gauff has confirmed, she will make her first appearance of the 2020 season at the ASB Classic.

Coco captured the headlines in June by firstly becoming the youngest to ever qualify for the main draw at Wimbledon, then by beating tennis legend and her idol 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 exceled 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 says this is 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' stated 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.

Aside from her tennis abilities, Coco’s long, lean build and braids reminds many of a young Venus, and 12-time major winner Billie Jean King thinks Coco has the "it" factor.

"Coco is a special one. She loves the big stage, is very well prepared on and off the court, and most importantly, she knows there are so many more opportunities ahead for her life and her career. But because she has proved she is exceptional at tennis, she now has a platform to inspire all of us, especially young people" said King

It’s not just the tennis world who’s taking notice, the prodigious teen has been named in the Time 100 Next 2019, a list that identifies the rising stars who are set to shape the future, not just in sport but in the world in general.

The ASB Classic will span for two weeks; the Women's tournament kicking off from 6-12 January followed by the Men’s tournament from January 13-18 2020. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek and you can purchase tickets either online, over the phone on (0800 842 538) or in person at one of the agencies listed on the event website.

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