AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Coco Gauff will start her 2020 season at the ASB Classic in Auckland in January.

The 15-year-old WTA World No.69 is eligible to play only three tournaments before she turns 16 on March 13, with Auckland joining the Australian Open and Indian Wells on that shortlist.

The 15-year-old shot to prominence at Wimbledon last year, where she became the youngest player to qualify for the main draw. She then progressed to the fourth round before succumbing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

The American used that experience as a foundation to finish the year strong, making the third round at the US Open and winning a first WTA title in Linz, Austria, overcoming erstwhile WTA World No.8 Kiki Bertens along the route.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge has revealed that the tournament has been working on persuading Gauff to begin her 2020 campaign in Auckland for close to a year.

“We were talking to her long before her Wimbledon run,” he revealed. “She's been a player of significant note and someone who's clearly going to be a star.

“So we started talking to her 12 months ago and those conversations heated up in Miami in March, I was lucky enough to be there when she won her first match after getting a wildcard and had chat with her after that.”

It has also been confirmed that 18-year-old WTA World No.24 Amanda Anisimova will play the tournament.

“There have been a number of junior players who have promised so much but haven’t quite delivered on their potential, so to watch Amanda surpass those expectations this year is incredible, and we can’t wait to have her back at the ASB Classic,” said Budge.

The Auckland field is set to boast several of the game’s outstanding players, with Bianca Andreescu, Serena Williams and two-time defending champion Julia Goerges having committed themselves to featuring.

The full field for the hard court tournament, which runs January 6-12, will be unveiled on Wednesday.

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