Oracle Challenger Series Standouts Shine at Wimbledon

Oracle Challenger Series
Jul 8, 2019

Since it began in late 2017, the Oracle Challenger Series has become a breeding ground for future stars of the game – both in the American tennis landscape and beyond.

The Series has provided valuable opportunities to the likes of Bianca Andreescu and Danielle Collins, both of whom have exploded onto the tennis scene since competing at the Oracle Challenger Series. Andreescu, who won the 2019 Newport Beach event, went on to become the first women’s wild card to win the BNP Paribas Open; and Collins, who won the Newport Beach event in 2018, has made her presence well-known with outstanding performances already in 2019 – including a semifinal appearance at the 2019 Australian Open.

The start of the 2019-2020 Series is set to start this Fall in New Haven, Connecticut, launching a new Road to Indian Wells, where the game’s rising talent will compete for wild card entry into the 2020 BNP Paribas Open.

This last week, however, the spotlight has turned to London and the year’s third Grand Slam – where some of the Series’ past performers have shown that they are a force to be reckoned with. On display have been the likes of resurgent American Alison Riske; 17-year old Amanda Anisimova; and the can’t-miss 15-year-old sensation Coco Gauff. On the ATP Tour, two-time defending Newport Beach champion Taylor Fritz and Chicago finalist Reilly Opelka have been turning heads. Here’s our wrap-up:

Alison Riske

Due to move up at least 19 spots in the WTA rankings from World No. 55, the resurgent Riske, who competed at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells as the ladies No. 2 seed, has found her stride at just the right time.

A semifinalist at the Indian Wells 125k, Riske finds herself into the last eight at Wimbledon after an incredible come-from-behind victory over new World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty on Monday. The American has also amassed victories over No. 22 seed Donna Vekic and No. 13 seed Belinda Bencic en route to the quarterfinals, and is an impressive 9-1 on grass this season, including her second career title at ‘S-Hertogenbosch last month.

Amanda Anisimova

One of the recipients of the inaugural Oracle Challenger Series wild cards into the BNP Paribas Open, the impressive 17-year-old American continues her ascent well into the 2019 season.

Anisimova made her first Round of 16 at a Grand Slam at the 2019 Australian Open and followed it up with a semifinal appearance at the French Open, catapulting her up to World No. 26 where she currently sits.

Anisimova advanced to the second round of Wimbledon after defeating Sorana Cirstea in straight sets; she would eventually fall at the hands of red-hot Magda Linette in the second round.

Coco Gauff

Stealing headlines and hearts in 2019, this young American gained traction at the Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells; testing her abilities against former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Timea Bacinsinsky. She would fall in her only Series appearance, but it was an experience that proved valuable, as she’s taken her early struggles and turned them into positives looking forward.

Those experiences have culminated this last week, as Gauff’s superstar potential has been on full display at Wimbledon; where she edged her way through qualifying to three consecutive main draw victories and a Round of 16 appearance in her first go-around in London.

The 15-year-old dispatched idol Venus Williams, Magdalena Rybarikova and Polona Hercog all in dramatic fashion, before being eliminated by former World No. 1 Simona Halep.

Taylor Fritz

Two-time defending Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach champion Taylor Fritz continues proving that American men’s tennis has a bright future ahead.

The World No. 31 captured his first Tour-level title two weeks ago at Eastbourne International and followed it up by upending Thomas Berdych in the first-round at Wimbledon. Fritz would eventually bow out in the second round against No. 33 seed Jan-Lennard Stuff.

Reilly Opelka

Hard-hitting big man Reilly Opelka is no stranger to the Oracle Challenger Series, registering a final appearance at Chicago en route to earning one of the two men’s wild cards into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open.

Opelka leveraged his big serve in a big way at the 2019 Championships, eliminating Cedrik-Marcel Streb in round one. In round two, Opelka belted 23 aces on his way to upsetting three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. Opelka would later be eliminated by Canadian Milos Raonic in the third round.

Opelka will move up six spots in the World Rankings to No. 57 following his career-best performance in London.