In another All-American matchup on the opening day of play at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, Whitney Osuigwe and Kristie Ahn took part in a thrilling back-and-forth affair that took 2 hours and 28 minutes to finish.
Osuigwe took control in the first set, breaking Ahn three times on her way to a dominant 6-3 advantage. The 17-year old Oracle Challenger Series Houston quarterfinalist utilized crisp first serves (28/47) to win 60% of her service points in the opening set. Currently sitting in seventh place on the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard holding 23 points, she looked to capitalize on her opportunity to advance up the rankings with her strongest Oracle Challenger Series showing yet.
Unfortunately for Osuigwe, it was a different story in the second set. Ahn battled her way back into the match as the two Americans went back and forth winning service games and breaking each other before finally reaching a tiebreaker. Ahn would come out on top, taking it 7-5 to even the match at one set a piece.
Throughout the third and final set, neither Ahn nor Osuigwe could pull in front of the other. Both players worked hard to try and gain a victory that would be critical in their hopes of getting one of the wild cards into the main draw of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.
After another incredible set, Ahn eventually overcame Osuigwe by digging deep and leaning on her past Challenger experience. She would take the match 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5 and keep her hopes alive on the Road to Indian Wells.
Next, Ahn will take on No. 7 seed Luksika Kumkhum in the second round.