Six current and former NCAA student-athletes are among those awarded wild cards into the main draw of the Oracle Challenger Series Houston, which got underway today with qualifying rounds at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on the campus of Rice University.
Tom Fawcett, a former Pac-12 Players of the Year at Stanford University, was granted a wild card into the men’s main draw, along with fellow Americans Roy Smith, a current sophomore at Baylor University who was named 2018 All-Big 12 Doubles First Team; and Ronnie Schneider, a former standout player at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill who was named the 2017 ITA Senior Player of the Year. Rice University freshman Sumit Sarkar was previously awarded a main draw wild card into the event.
On the women’s side, 19-year-old American Kayla Day – the 2016 Junior US Open Champion – received a wild card into the WTA main draw, as did current ITA No. 1 player at the University of Texas, Bianca Turati. The 2018 Big 12 Player of the Year has two ITF titles to her name, and led the Longhorns to the 2018 Big 12 Championship. Current World No. 39 and two-time WTA title winner Belinda Bencic was previously awarded a main draw wild card, as were Grand Slam Doubles Champion Peng Shuai and Rice University sophomore Michaela Haet.
Main draw action gets underway on Monday. Matches begin at 10 am.