Americans Taylor Fritz and Danielle Collins captured the biggest titles of their professional careers as they won their respective singles titles at the Oracle Challenger Series at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.
In the men’s singles final, Fritz overcame a slow start and finished in dominating fashion as he scored a thrilling 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory over fellow American Bradley Klahn in one-hour and 35 minutes.
Fritz struggled early in the match against the left-handed Klahn, a native of Poway, Calif., who now trains in Los Angeles. After losing the first set in 28 minutes, Fritz cut down on his unforced errors and found his groove. In a tight second set, Fritz broke Klahn’s serve in the 12th game to even the match at one-set all.
In an 18-minute third set, Fritz dominated from start to finish and cruised past Klahn, serving three love games and dropping only three points in the set to win the championship.
“I was definitely struggling with his serve and the shots in the beginning. It took me a while to get my timing, but in the second set I felt like I started getting hot and I got really pumped up and I just carried it into the third set,” Fritz said following the trophy presentation,
“It just felt so good. Even though it was 5-0 (in the third set), I wanted it so bad. I was super tense. It’s been so long since I’ve won a title, which made it even more special,” said Fritz, who said the title was the biggest win of his career so far. “It’s been two years since I’ve won a tournament. It means so much for my confidence to get me back on track.”
It was a dream week for American wild card Danielle Collins as the 24-year-old from St. Petersburg, Fla., won her first career WTA singles title with a come-from-behind 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over 18-year-old qualifier Sofya Zhuk of Russia in the singles final.
“I didn’t start off the match very well today. I got off to a little bit of a rough start. I made some unforced errors. It was very difficult for me at first, but I had some experience playing Sofya,” Collins said. “I knew if I could keep my head on right, and be just a little tougher than she was, I would have a chance to win the match.”
The men’s and women’s doubles finals were played on Saturday afternoon. Second-seeded Leander Paes of India and American James Cerrentani captured the men’s title with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Treat Huey of the Philippines and American Denis Kudla.
Japan’s Misaki Doi and Jil Teichmann of Switzerland edged Rebecca Peterson of Sweden and Jami Loeb of the United States 7-6 (4), 1-6, (10-8) to win the women’s title.