January 28, 2018 - Bradley Klahn in action at the Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, CA. (Photo by Maria Noble/Oracle Challenger Series)
With the third stop on the Road to Indian Wells set to take place at the Newport Beach Tennis Club on January 21-27, 2019, a talented group of American players will look to capitalize on their opportunity to earn wild card entries into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.
The third of four tournaments in the 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series is less than a week away, and the question now, is who will emerge from this tremendous field of American players and cement themselves as someone to watch in 2019.
The roster of Americans set to compete in Newport Beach is undoubtedly one of the deepest and most exciting groups the Oracle Challenger Series has seen. More than 30 American players are set to battle it out in the Southern California sunshine, including three WTA top-100 women and three ATP Tour top-100 men.
World No. 52 Sofia Kenin highlights the women’s field as the highest ranked American; and enters the Oracle Challenger Series riding the momentum of her first ever WTA singles title. Earlier this week, she won the Hobart International in Australia by defeating Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in a dominating 6-4, 6-0 performance. While Kenin will certainly prove tough to beat, there is no shortage of worthy American women ready to take her on in Newport Beach.
Madison Brengle and Taylor Townsend, Worlds No. 88 and No. 90 respectively, round out the WTA top-100 and will look to stamp their ticket on the Road to Indian Wells. Other names to watch include Lauren Davis, who was the runner-up in Houston and currently sits atop the women’s leaderboard, as well as Houston semifinalist Jessica Pegula and Chicago semifinalist Sachia Vickery. Nicole Gibbs, Varvara Lepchenko, Claire Liu, Allie Kiick, Danielle Lao, Jamie Loeb, Kristie Ahn, Robin Anderson and Gail Brodsky round out the list of American women.
On the men’s side of the draw, top-ranked Bradley Klahn (No. 76), Mackenzie McDonald (No. 78) and Reilly Opelka (No. 99) make up a trio of budding young Americans, each of whom looks primed for a breakout season in 2019. Klahn, the current points leader on the Road to Indian Wells, catapulted himself atop the standings by winning the title at the Oracle Challenger Series Houston. McDonald, a former NCAA singles and doubles champion at UCLA, made impressive runs in both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2018 and will be competing in his first Oracle Challenger Series event in Newport Beach. Opelka is already making waves around the tennis circuit with his stunning upset this week over No. 9 ranked John Isner in the first round of the Australian Open.
The notable field of American men is also highlighted by three-time Grand Slam doubles champion and career-high World No. 8 Jack Sock. With a combined 18 titles to his name including three Grand Slam trophies on the doubles circuit, Sock is one of the most recognizable names in American tennis and sure to be a crowd favorite in Newport Beach. JC Aragone, Ernesto Escobedo, Bjorn Fratangelo, Christian Harrison, Evan King, Mitchell Krueger, Michael Mmoh, Dennis Novikov, Tommy Paul, Noah Rubin and Donald Young make up the rest of the American field.
With incredible talent on both the women’s and men’s side of the draw, the Oracle Challenger Series at Newport Beach is a can’t miss event for fans looking to catch a glimpse of the next generation of American tennis.