The Oracle Challenger Series has released its entry lists today for the upcoming Houston Event, which are led by Former WTA No. 28 Monica Niculescu and 2018 Australian Open quarterfinalist Tennys Sandgren.
A deep women’s field includes Niculescu, who has accumulated three singles and eight doubles titles on Tour; Genie Bouchard, who is a former Wimbledon Singles Finalist; and Heather Watson, who is a Grand Slam Mixed Doubles Champion. They will be challenged by a group of Americans including McHale, who is a former Top 25-ranked player; and Di Lorenzo, who was awarded the 2018 Oracle US Tennis Award – which awards $100,000 to an American that played college tennis and is embarking on his or her professional tennis career.
On the men’s side the field is highlighted by Sandgren, an American currently ranked No. 61, who reached the quarterfinals in Stockholm just last week. Jared Donaldson, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 48 after a Semifinal appearance at the 2018 Mexican Open, will look to break back into the Top 100. Bradley Klahn’s performance in the Oracle Challenger Series last year allowed him to capture one of the two wild card spots into the BNP Paribas Open, offered to the top two men’s and women’s players that accumulate the most points in the Series. ATP World Tour all-time ace leader Ivo Karlovic and Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis will also debut.
New to the Oracle Challenger Series, the Houston event will award one male and one female student-athlete from Rice University wild cards into their respective main draws. Remaining spots in both main and qualifying draws will be filled by additional wild cards, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series, which began in Chicago in September, will continue in Houston and culminate at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, the largest ATP World Tour and WTA combined two-week event in the world held annually at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. The two American women and two American men who accumulate the most points over the course of the Series will receive wild cards into their respective singles main draws in Indian Wells.
In addition, the tournament is recruiting ball kids and volunteers for the event in Houston.