Nishikori to Face Novikov in First Round on Tuesday
Top-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan will play his much-anticipated first-round match at the Oracle Challenger Series on Tuesday at the Newport Beach Tennis Club. He will take on American qualifier Dennis Novikov in the second match scheduled on Court No. 1.
Nishikori has won five career ATP Challenger Tour titles, with four coming in the United States. His most recent victory was on the hard courts of Knoxville, Tenn., in 2010. He won his first ATP Challenger Tour title in 2008 at the age of 18 in Bermuda. That title helped him move inside the Top 100 for the first time. Nishikori is currently ranked No. 24 in the world.
American women highlighted play on Monday as Kayla Day, Victoria Duval, qualifier Amanda Anisimova and wild card entrants Danielle Collins and Claire Liu captured straight set matches to move into the second round.
Collins, a two-time NCAA singles champion at the University of Virginia, overcame a tough challenge against qualifier Marie Bouzkova of Czech Republic before advancing with a 6-4, 7-6 (4) win in one-hour and 50 minutes on Court No. 7.
“There were a lot of ups and downs during the match and changes of momentum, but luckily I was able to stay positive and go for it at the right time,” said Collins, who is ranked No. 162 in the WTA singles rankings. “I made sure I was 110 percent on each point and not giving her any free points.”
In men’s first-round singles action, 18-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia ousted second-seeded Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in one-hour and 58 minutes. Americans Noah Rubin, Stefan Kozlov, Mitchell Krueger and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski scored straight-set victories to advance to the second round.