The Oracle Challenger Series, a combined ATP Challenger Tour and WTA 125k tennis tournament to be held February 25 – March 3, 2019 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, has released its player entry lists today, which are led by 2011 US Open Champion Samantha Stosur.
A deep women’s draw is highlighted by Stosur, who has accumulated nine singles titles and 26 doubles titles on Tour. In addition to her victory at the 2011 US Open, she also captured the doubles crown at the 2019 Australian Open, 2005 US Open and 2006 French Open, to go along with three Grand Slam mixed doubles championships. The Australian is joined by the WTA No. 3 ranked doubles player Kristina Mladenovic, who has won two Grand Slams in doubles and achieved a career-high singles ranking of No. 10 in 2017. Peng Shuai returns to the Oracle Challenger Series for the first time since winning her title in Houston last fall; and will be met with fierce competition that includes former British No. 1 Heather Watson; and Defending Champion Sara Errani of Italy, among others.
The women’s field also features nine American players, highlighted by Jessica Pegula, who has had impressive showings throughout the Oracle Challenger Series, including a doubles title and singles semifinal appearance in Houston and a final appearance in Newport Beach. Pegula, who cracked the Top 100 for the first time after her success in Newport Beach, currently sits in the second spot on the women’s Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard, which determines the top two American men and women who will receive main draw wild cards into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. Alison Riske, who at No. 52 is the highest ranked woman in the field, will be joined by fellow Americans Sachia Vickery, a semifinalist in Chicago, and Varvara Lepchenko, each of whom sit just outside the top two leaderboard spots. Rounding out the list of American women are Newport Beach quarterfinalist and 2018 Indian Wells Doubles Champion Taylor Townsend, as well as Madison Brengle, Jennifer Brady, Caroline Dolehide and Nicole Gibbs.
The men’s field includes seven Americans, headlined by Reilly Opelka, the runner-up in Chicago and semifinalist at the 2018 Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach. Opelka is riding a wave of momentum to start the 2019 season having recently defeated World No. 10 John Isner in the first round of the Australian Open. Another Oracle Challenger Series veteran, Donald Young, will attempt to build upon quarterfinal runs in Chicago and Newport Beach. Young’s consistent play has moved him up the men’s leaderboard into fourth place, as he looks to catapult himself atop the standings with a successful tournament in Indian Wells. Other American contenders include two-time Oracle Challenger Series quarterfinalist Noah Rubin and 2018 Oracle US Tennis Award recipient Christopher Eubanks. Michael Mmoh, Jared Donaldson, Tim Smyczek and Ernesto Escobedo complete the American contingent.
At No. 72, Serbian Filip Krajinovic is the highest ranked player in the men’s draw. Darian King of Barbados, a finalist at this event in 2018, also joins the field in Indian Wells; as does Andrey Rublev, the 2017 ATP Next Gen Finals runner-up.
The 2018-2019 Oracle Challenger Series, which has made stops in Chicago, Houston and Newport Beach, culminates at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, the largest ATP 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 at Indian Wells. While Taylor Fritz and Bradley Klahn currently top the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard on the men’s side, they have each received direct entry into the BNP Paribas Open based on their rankings. As a result, Opelka and Baylor sophomore Roy Smith sit atop the leaderboard for those eligible for wild cards. Lauren Davis, the runner-up in Houston, and Pegula hold the top two spots on the women’s side.