It was another beautiful afternoon at the Newport Beach Tennis Club Saturday, as the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach presented by RBC Wealth Management hit the final stretch of what has been a marvelous week of tennis. Fans piled into the venue once again to get a first-hand look at which doubles specialists would reign supreme on the third stop on the Road to Indian Wells.
In the women’s final, Luisa Stefani and Hayley Carter showed why they were hailed the top seeds entering the week, registering a near-flawless performance to defeat Marie Benoit and Jessika Ponchet 6-1, 6-3 in 51 minutes. The triumph is the duos’ second title together on tour (Tashkent 2019).
The pair eliminated any signs of hope from their challengers when they jumped out to a commanding 6-1 lead after the first set. Securing 87 percent of first serve points (13/15) and converting on both break point opportunities, Stefani and Carter grabbed control of the match and never let go.
The pair would go on to win an impressive 67 percent of the total match points en route to the championship. The Newport Beach title is Stefani’s second Series doubles title (Houston 2019) and Carter’s first.
In an intense men’s final, top seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar proved too much for Tristan-Samuel Weissborn and Antonio Sančić, securing the championship in emphatic fashion 6-2, 6-4.
The Argentine/Ecuadorian duo raced out to an early lead behind excellent team work and communication, allowing Weissborn/ Sančić to secure just 16 of 44 points en route to taking the first set 6-2.
Behar/Escobar continued their solid play into the second set, where service points proved to be the difference in the match. The pair grabbed 36 of 45 service points while Weissborn/ Sančić only managed 30 of 51 – allowing for a late-break that sealed the match for the veteran Challenger Tour doubles team.
The triumph is the pair’s seventh together in the last calendar year and first at the Oracle Challenger Series. Behar now has 17 career ATP Challenger Tour doubles titles, while Newport Beach is Escobar’s sixth.