Fritz, Rubin, Klahn Advance to Men’s Quarterfinals, Collins Advances to First WTA Quarterfinal

Jan 24, 2018 | News, Press

A trio of American men won second round matches on Wednesday at the Newport Beach Tennis Club to advance to the singles quarterfinals of the Oracle Challenger Series.

Third-seeded Taylor Fritz of Palos Verdes, Calif., defeated fellow American and wild card entrant Thai-Son Kwiatkowski 6-4, 6-4 in one-hour and 16 minutes on Stadium Court.

After falling behind 2-0 in the opening set, Fritz picked up the level of his game and used two service breaks to secure the first set. In the second set, Fritz broke Kwiatkowski in the first game. That was all the advantage he needed as he held serve the rest of the set to close out the match.

“As the third-seed coming in, it feels good to get two wins to start the tournament. I just needed to be more patient. I was missing a lot, probably going for too much, too early,” said Fritz, who had 14 services aces. “When I got more patient and took my time, it started working better. Of course, serving is always the key for me.”

In one of the most dramatic matches of the day, Noah Rubin of Merrick, N.Y., edged sixth-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-7 (6), 6-4, 7-6 (8) in two-hours and 35 minutes. Rubin will face Fritz in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Unseeded Bradley Klahn, a native of Poway, Calif., who is ranked No. 220 in the world, outlasted fellow American Mitchell Krueger 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 to move into the quarterfinals, where he will take on Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic on Friday.

In the women’s singles draw, wild card Danielle Collins reached the quarterfinals as the former two-time NCAA singles champion overcame the loss of the opening set and came back to defeat fellow American Jamie Loeb 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 in one-hour and 49 minutes.

After losing the first set, the 24-year-old Collins rebounded to win the second set, sweeping six straight games in 27 minutes, while dropping only a single point in her three service games.

In the third set, Loeb, who had upset top-seeded Christina McHale in a first-round match on Tuesday, took a 4-3 lead, but Collins captured the last three games, which included two service breaks, to clinch the victory.

“It feels good. I’ve never been in the quarterfinals of a WTA event. Obviously, it was a great win, playing (against) Jamie,” Collins said. “She’s a fighter and doesn’t give you any free points. She made me work for it. Hopefully I can continue to play good tennis.”

Collins, a 2017 recipient of the Oracle US Tennis Award which grants $100,000 to assist young players as they transition from college into the professional ranks, is thankful for the opportunity to play in the inaugural Oracle Challenger Series this week in Newport Beach.

“It’s great to have Oracle hosting this event. They’ve been really great to me. I love all of the events they’ve done. I played many of their tournaments when I was in college,” she said. “It was an incredible opportunity for me getting the wild card (here) to help me do well and further my career.”

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