AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Teenage American Amanda Anisimova has taken a wildcard entry to the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
She joins multiple Grand Slam champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who has also accepted a wildcard entry for the event and will begin her 2019 season there.
Anisimova is currently the youngest player inside the Top 100, and enjoyed a successful 2018, including a win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
"We have had a pretty good track record in recent years identifying the next wave of stars of the WTA," tournament director Karl Budge said.
"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. To already be shocking a multiple grand slam champions and reaching finals bodes incredibly well for the future."
Mattek-Sands, the WTA World No.367, enjoyed a successful return to competitive tennis in 2018 after sustaining a serious injury at Wimbledon the previous year, taking the US Open mixed doubles title alongside Jamie Murray.
Furthermore, she has five Grand Slam doubles titles to her credit and as reached as high in the singles ranking as WTA World No.30.
For those reasons, tournament director Budge is delighted to welcome the 33-year-old American back to Auckland.
“Beth is one of the most entertaining and colorful players on the Tour. She’s won multiple Grand Slams and Olympic medals, but it’s her personality and flair that makes her stand out,” he said.
Additionally, she plans to make the most of her time in the country by visiting Stewart Island for a fishing and seal spotting trip before heading to Waihopai Tennis Club in Ivercargill, the most southerly tennis club in the world, to run a skills course for locals.
“Bethanie will be the very first international tennis player to head to Stewart Island, which is fantastic for New Zealand and Stewart Island locals. Her husband Justin is really keen on the outdoors as well so it’s great that they get to go on this adventure together!” Budge added.
The ASB Classic begins on December 31, 2018 and concludes on January 6, 2019.
WTA World No.3 Caroline Wozniacki, defending champion Julia Goerges and seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams are among the field.