A star was not so much born, as confirmed, at the ASB Classic on Thursday.

Every so often a truly special talent comes across the radar during Auckland's summer of tennis, and Amanda Anisimova is the latest.

The American teenager arrived with a big reputation — she is the youngest player in the top 100 (No 96) — and delivered on that promise with an impressive 6-3 6-3 upset of fifth seed Barbora Strycova.

Every year various precocious talents are highly touted on the tennis circuit.


Some make the transition from young guns to high achievers on the professional tour, others don't.

At 1.80m tall, and with Russian parents, Anisimova has already drawn comparisons with Maria Sharapova, and you can see why.

At 17 years old Anisimova, who rose more than 100 places in the rankings last year, has all the shots in her locker.

Strycova is one of the best movers on the tour but was completely befuddled by the variety and control of Anisimova.

She mixed power with precision, varied the pace well and found angles that someone of her inexperience shouldn't even be contemplating.

The icing on the cake was a delicate drop shot, which landed centimetres over the net.

But equally impressive was her mental composure, as she seemed cool as ice throughout the match, in contrast to Julia Goerges and Eugenie Bouchard on Wednesday night.

"I've had to work on that a lot," said Anisimova. "I wasn't like that from day one but definitely it helps me and I feel like for my opponents it's hard on them when I keep my composure like that, it's definitely a huge plus for me. [Today] physically everything was there, so it was just about staying strong mentally because it was a very close match."


Anisimova arrived on the world stage with a win over former Wimbledon champion (and world No 9) Petra Kvitova at Indian Wells last year, before continuing her rise with a run to the Hiroshima final.

She had planned to come to Auckland anyway — as a qualifier — but the wildcard was gratefully received, and could be a masterstroke by tournament director Karl Budge.

Anisimova, still building her career, was thrilled with her win over the world No 33

"I was expecting a tough fight. I was trying to be at my peak physically for that fight. It was tough and I am happy I got the win."

Anisimova broke the Strycova serve on three occasions, but was mostly untroubled on her own serve.

She looked the more confident player from the start, and earned a crucial break in the eighth game. Then she served out the first set, without even a hint of nerves.

The fifth seeded Czech tried to lift her game in the second set but her renowned battling style wasn't enough against the relentless accuracy of the teenager.

Anisimova broke twice, and there was inevitability about the result, despite the disparity in rankings and experience.

Anisimova will face fellow youngster Viktoria Kuzmova on Friday, after the Slovakian advanced to the last eight with a 7-5 5-7 6-3 victory over Sofia Kenin.

After beating the fourth seed Petra Martic on Tuesday, world No 52 Kenin struggled to regain those levels, generally out thought and out maneuvered by Kuzmova.

The Slovakian world No 54, who has been one of the sharpest risers on tour over the last 18 months, mixed clean hitting and a blistering serve with some subtle touches.