7 Jan 2017

Croatian teen favourite for Auckland title

12:18 pm on 7 January 2017

Croatian tennis player Ana Konjuh might be four years younger than her American opponent Lauren Davis, but the teenager's the favourite to walk away with the ASB Classic title in Auckland this afternoon.

At just 19, Konjuh has already reached the top 50 in the women's world rankings and was seeded eighth for the New Zealand tournament, which she's competed at since 2014.

Ana Konjuh

Ana Konjuh Photo: PHOTOSPORT

She also has one WTA title to her name, while Davis, who's ranked just 14 places below Konjuh, is still searching for her maiden tournament trophy.

Konjuh won a grass tournament in Nottingham in 2015 and she said she is hungry for the win today.

"I had an experience behind me even though it was two years ago, I think, so I kind of forgot how it feels but I'm really happy that I get to experience it all over again, and you know, it's going to be tough [on Saturday] but I'm really looking forward to it," she said.

Konjuh overcame the 2016 ASB Classic runner-up Julia Goerges 6-3 4-6 6-3 in her semi-final on Friday to claim a place in just her second WTA final.

The 23-year-old Davis was also taken to three sets in her semi-final by seventh seed Jelena Ostapenko, before the Latvian withdrew in the third set as the American was leading 4-1.

It is also the second WTA final for Davis, though she has never won a tournament.

American tennis player Lauren Davis in action at the Auckland ASB Classic.

American tennis player Lauren Davis in action at the Auckland ASB Classic. Photo: Photosport

Despite not quite having the experience of her younger opponent, Davis said she is feeling confident heading into the decider.

"I've hung in there really well, I think I've taken advantage of the opportunities that I've been given, played aggressive, played my game, and I mean, that's all I can really ask for out of myself," she said.

The pair have met once before, which was also in Auckland at the 2014 tournament, with the match won by Davis - though both players admit they have few memories of the tie.

The day's play will begin at 12.30pm with the women's doubles final, where Demi Schuurs and Renata Voracova will attempt to upset third seeds Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larssen.