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Houston Wild Cards Feature Grand Slam Champions, Rice University Student Athletes

Oracle Challenger Series
Nov 5, 2019

World No. 31 Danielle Collins, Former World No. 10 CoCo Vandeweghe, Grand Slam Doubles Champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands Round Out Loaded Wild Card Slate

World No. 31 Danielle Collins, career-high World No. 10 CoCo Vandeweghe and nine-time Grand Slam Doubles Champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands are among those awarded wild cards into the main draws of the Oracle Challenger Series Houston, to be held November 10-17, 2019 at the George R. Brown Tennis Center at Rice University. Rice University juniors Sumit Sarkar and Linda Huang also received wild cards into the main draws.

2017 Oracle US Tennis Award winner Collins will return to the Oracle Challenger Series circuit in Houston after a career-best 2019 season that included a run to the semifinals of the Australian Open. Collins, who is making her comeback to the Tour following treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, won the inaugural Oracle Challenger Series event in Newport Beach, California in January of 2018. Six-time WTA title winner Vandeweghe was also awarded a wild card into the main draw as she continues her comeback campaign following an extended layoff due to injury. Vandeweghe is a 2018 US Open Champion in doubles, as well as a two-time Grand Slam singles semifinalist, with career-high rankings of No. 10 (singles) and No. 14 (doubles).

Mattek-Sands, who holds a career-high singles ranking of No. 30 and is a former World No. 1 on the doubles circuit, will make her Oracle Challenger Series debut in Houston. She boasts five women’s doubles Grand Slam titles, four mixed doubles Grand Slam titles – most recently at this year’s Wimbledon alongside partner Jamie Murray, and a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in mixed doubles.

University of Georgia junior Katarina Jokic – a 2019 NCAA National Championship finalist and winner of the 2018 Oracle ITA Fall National Championships – also received a main draw wild card, as did Australian Huang, who earned All-Conference USA First Team Honors in 2019 as a member of the Rice University women’s team.

Twenty-year-old CiCi Bellis, who is currently working her way back from an injury and has been ranked as high as No. 35 in the world, received a wild card into the women’s qualifying draw, as did Jamie Loeb, recipient of the 2019 Oracle US Tennis Award and winner at the Oracle Pro Series – Dallas event last month.

On the men’s side, 17-year-old Houston native Zane Khan; Oliver Crawford, a current sophomore at the University of Florida; UCLA sophomore Govind Nanda; and Brandon Holt, winner of the 2017 Oracle ITA Masters, current University of Southern California senior and son of Hall-of-Famer Tracy Austin, have been awarded wild cards into the main draw. Rice University standout Sarkar, a junior New York native who was named Conference USA Player of the Year in 2019 and also earned All-Conference USA First Team honors in both singles and doubles, rounds out the main draw.

Action from Houston begins on Sunday, November 10 (WTA) and Monday, November 11 (ATP). Matches begin daily at 10:00 am, with evening sessions scheduled not before 5:00 p.m. (Monday – Thursday only). On Saturday, November 16 and Sunday, November 17, matches begin at 11:00 a.m. All matches will be played at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on the campus of Rice University, located at 2105 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005. Free parking will be available. The Oracle Challenger Series is free and open to the public.

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