Shuai Peng plays Belinda Bencic on court 1 during the Oracle Challenger Series at the George R. Brown Tennis Center on the Rice University campus on Thursday November 15, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Oracle Challenger Series)
It was a battle of the wild cards on Court 1 this morning. After a hard-fought three sets it was Peng Shuai of China who was victorious over Swiss Belinda Bencic, 36 64 75. The 32-year-old Chinese athlete is a former World No. 1 doubles player and has been ranked as high as World No. 14 in singles. She has 21 doubles titles to her name, including Wimbledon in 2013 and French Open in 2014, as well as 2 singles titles. Peng will next meet rising WTA star Whitney Osuigwe in the quarterfinals on Friday. Half Peng’s age, the 16-year-old qualifier Osuigwe will look to upset the wild card and continue on her Road to Indian Wells march.
Number 5 seed Fanny Stollar of Hungary edged past American and lucky loser Jacqueline Cako 75 63 to advance to the quarterfinals. The Hungarian will face off for the first time against American Jessica Pegula.
American qualifier Lauren Davis upset number 9 seed and compatriot Nicole Gibbs in three sets 26 64 64. She keeps Road to Indian Wells hopes alive, advancing to the quarterfinals tomorrow where she will meet Canadian lucky loser Katherine Sebov who defeated Japan’s Kurumi Nara, 63 63.