ASB Classic: Teenage star Cori 'Coco' Gauff impresses in Auckland debut

American tennis sensation Cori 'Coco' Gauff has wasted little time staking her claim on the ASB Classic title, breezing through the opening round of the Auckland tournament.

The 15-year-old took just 1h 1m to dispatch Slovak Viktoria Kuzmova in straight sets, 6-3 6-1 on her first visit to New Zealand.

Ranked 67th in the world, Gauff burst onto the WTA Tour last year, beating six-time champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon and capturing her first title at the Linz Open.

Many regard her as a future star on the international circuit and Gauff made a great impression on Kiwi fans with her local debut, winning 81 percent of her first serves and looking totally unflustered by last year's beaten semi-finalist.

"Playing in the wind was a little bit tough, but I'm glad I got through it," she said afterwards. "The energy out here is great.

"I was a little bit nervous about spending New Year's here - this is my first without my brothers - but I've felt really welcomed here."

In a courtside interview on SKY Sport, Gauff related the story of her training session with heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson.

"It was definitely hard," she admitted. "It was after I had already trained five hours doing tennis that day.

"They had some cameras out and I thought it would just be something for the cameras, but no, he really gave it to me.

"Next time I have to play a third set, I'll credit it to him."

 With her victory, Gauff booked a meeting with either German Laura Siegemund or Belgian Alison Van Uytanck on Wednesday, although she will team with compatriot Catherine McNally for doubles on Tuesday.

Later in the day, the all star doubles duo of Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki didn't disappoint, combining with the game Japanese pairing of Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya to put on an entertaining display in a 6-2 6-4 win.

In other matches on opening day, Belgian Greet Minnen, Italian Camila Giorgi, and Americans Ann Li and Varvara Lepchenko emerged as winning qualifiers, while Belgian Ysaline Bonaventure and American Usue Maitane Arconada also progressed into the main draw as 'lucky losers'.

Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova was forced to withdraw through illness, leaving Giorgi to face 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Tuesday.

Other first-round winners included Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, eighth-seeded Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, Russian Daria Kasatkina and American Jessica Pegula.

Zidansek toppled sixth seed Rebecca Peterson of Sweden in two tiebreak sets, while Swiss Jil Teichmann send Kiwi wildcard Valentina Ivanov packing, 6-4 6-3.

Local hope Paige Hourigan also made an early exit from doubles play, combining with Italian Sara Errani in a 6-1 6-3 loss to Australians Jessica Moore and Arina Rodionova.

Canadian favourite Eugenie Bouchard turned back the clock to defeat Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 7-5 7-5 in the day's final match.