One of the most promising players in women's tennis will be coming to Auckland in 2019.
American teenager Amanda Anisimova, who is the youngest player in the top 100 of the WTA Tour, has been given a wildcard into the ASB Classic.
Anisimova hit the headlines in May this year, when as a 16-year-old she upset two-time Wimbledon Champion Petra Kvitova to reach the round of sixteen at Indian Wells, which is recognised as the biggest tournament outside the grand slams.
The Florida-based Anisimova backed that up with a run to the round of 16 in Cincinnati, before a stunning week in Hiroshima, Japan, where she came through qualifying to reach the final, winning seven matches in total and beating two seeds on the way.
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She was the youngest player to reach a WTA final since 2012.
Before she turned professional, Anismova won the Junior US Open and reached number two on the ITF world rankings.
"We have had a pretty good track record in recent years identifying the next wave of stars of the WTA," said ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge. "Jelena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens and recently Naomi Osaka have all come to Auckland early in their careers before going on to Grand Slam success. Given Amanda is still only 17 years old, she is well ahead of where those three girls were at the same time of their careers."
Anisimova ended the year ranked 96. That was a climb of almost 100 places in the previous 12 months (her 2017 year end ranking was 192).