Bradley Klahn plays Dominik Koepfer on court 1 during the Oracle Challenger Series at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on the Rice University campus on Saturday November 17, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Oracle Challenger Series)
The Oracle Challenger Series, to be held November 10-17, 2019 at the George R. Brown Tennis Center at Rice University in Houston has released its player entry lists today, which are led by defending champion Bradley Klahn; 2019 Challenger Series New Haven champion Tommy Paul; 2019 Citi Open champion Jessica Pegula; and Canadian former World No. 5 Eugenie Bouchard.
A captivating men’s field is highlighted by defending champion and World No. 99 Klahn, who overcame wild card Roy Smith in last year’s final; and Paul, the 2019 New Haven champion who boasts three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2019. World No. 69 Sandgren returns to Houston as the highest-ranked player in the men’s draw after competing in 2018 as the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed. Two-time Challenger Series semi-finalist Donald Young again joins the men’s draw, as does New Haven singles finalist Marcos Giron; and 18-year-old Jenson Brooksby, a Baylor University freshman who advanced through qualifying at the 2019 US Open and defeated former World No. 4 Tomas Berdych in the first round. Sekou Bangoura, Ernesto Escobedo, Evan King, Mitchell Krueger, Michael Mmoh, Daniel Nguyen, Michael Redlicki and Alexander Ritschard round out the list of American men.
ATP Tour all-time ace leader and veteran Ivo Karlovic leads a host of talented international standouts looking to end their season on a high note. Romanian Marius Copil also joins the field after recently reaching the quarterfinals of the European Open at Antwerp.
An equally potent women’s field is led by World No. 76 Pegula, a semifinalist in Houston a year ago who captured her maiden WTA title earlier this season at the Citi Open; Canadian Bouchard, a 2014 Wimbledon finalist; American Taylor Townsend, who is surging back up the rankings after a strong showing at the US Open in September, where she upset No. 4 seed Simona Halep en route to a Round of 16 appearance; and New Haven finalist Usue Arconada, who will look to back up her stellar showing in September and bolster her already strong positioning on the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard. Teenage sensation Catherine McNally returns to the Oracle Challenger Series for the second time, having captured WTA doubles titles at Washington and Luxembourg this season alongside partner Coco Gauff. American Shelby Rogers, a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2016, is also entered. Completing the list of American women are 2018 Oracle U.S. Tennis Award winner Francesca DiLorenzo, Whitney Osuigwe, Varvara Lepchenko, Ann Li, Allie Kiick, Irina Falconi, Sachia Vickery, Caroline Dolehide, Danielle Lao and Asia Muhammad.
2018 Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells champion Sara Errani and former Top 15 player Kirsten Flipkens lead a host of hungry international competitors.
The remaining spots in both the men’s and women’s main draws will be filled by wild cards, which will include at least one Rice University male and female student athlete.
Dates and locations for the remaining stops on the 2019-2020 Oracle Challenger Series will be announced in the coming months. The Challenger Series culminates at the 2020 BNP Paribas Open, the largest ATP Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world, held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The top two American male and female players over the course of the four events receive main draw wild cards into the prestigious ATP Tour Masters 1000 / WTA Premier Mandatory event.