The Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells, which kicks off at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Monday, February 25, features an intriguing draw on the men’s side, as 14 Americans continue their quest for one of two wild card spots up for grabs into the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, with a talented international contingent looking to cause havoc on the final stop of the Road to Indian Wells.
World No. 28 Kyle Edmund will make his Oracle Challenger Series debut as the No. 1 seed – and the highest ranked male player ever to participate in a Series event. The British No. 1 will be playing in his first Challenger level event since 2016. The second-seeded Filip Krajinovic of Serbia is coming off a quarterfinal appearance in Montpellier, and will take on the winner of the all-American match-up between Brandon Nakashima and JC Aragone in the second round. Radu Albot of Moldova drew the No. 3 seed on the strength of his semifinal appearance earlier this month in Montpellier. Other notable seeds include No. 6 Denis Istomin – the Oracle Challenger Series Chicago champion, and Andrey Rublev – a US Open quarterfinalist in 2017 who drew the No. 7 seed.
Jared Donaldson is the only seeded American player at No. 9, but fellow Americans and Oracle Challenger Series veterans Ernesto Escobedo, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Donald Young, Marcos Giron, Christopher Eubanks, Noah Rubin, Christian Harrison, Tim Smyczek, Mitchell Krueger and Aragone will look to make some noise on the Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard. With the top three players on the Leaderboard – Taylor Fritz, Bradley Klahn and Reilly Opelka – not in the draw, the race is wide open for the BNP Paribas Open wild card spots. Young leads the pack of players in the draw with 75 points, with Aragone and Rubin behind him with 35 and 30 points, respectively. Four All-American first round match-ups will quickly shed light on who will have the edge in the final Road to Indian Wells Leaderboard standings.