VICKERY AND GIBBS ADVANCE TO QUARTERFINALS AT
ORACLE CHALLENGER SERIES IN NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF
Opelka Eliminates Novikov to Move into Men’s Singles Quarterfinals
Newport Beach, Calif. – (January 25, 2018) – Sixth-seeded Sachia Vickery reached the quarterfinals of the Oracle Challenger Series as the 22-year-old from Miramar, Fla., defeated unseeded Rebecca Peterson of Sweden 6-1, 6-4, on a cool, cloudy day at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.
In their only previous meeting, Peterson eliminated Vickery in the second round of a WTA tournament in Honolulu in 2017, but in their second head-to-head meeting, Vickery won the first set in 32 minutes and then proceeded to use two service breaks to take control of the second set.
Serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, Vickery fought off a break point and ultimately prevailed over Peterson in one-hour and 22 minutes. She will take on qualifier Mayo Hibi of Japan in the quarterfinals.
“I had a very tough match today. She’s a tough opponent. I was really happy I was able to get through,” Vickery said after clinching her quarterfinal spot. “I was a little more aggressive in the first (set) then I kind of took my foot off a little bit. She started playing really well, so I definitely wanted to end it before giving her more confidence.”
Former two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs also got through to the quarterfinals after she scored a hard-fought 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory over unseeded Anna Karolina Schmiedlova of Slovakia in one-hour and 49 minutes.
As Gibbs served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, she fell behind 15-40, but rallied and on her second match point, blasted a down the line forehand winner to wrap up the victory. Gibbs, who is unseeded, will face seventh-seeded Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia in her quarterfinal match.
In men’s second-round singles action, wild card Reilly Opelka slammed 19 aces past fellow American qualifier Dennis Novikov to advance to Friday’s quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win.
After winning the first set in 29 minutes, Opelka, ranked No. 207 in the world, exchanged service breaks with Novikov early in the second set and was on serve at 3-3.
Later in the set, Opelka broke Novikov at love to take a 5-4 lead. He then served three aces in the tenth game on his way to closing out the match, which took one-hour and 12 minutes. Opelka will face unseeded Matthias Bachinger of Germany in the quarterfinals.
“I’m pretty pleased with how I played. This is the best tennis I’ve played in a while. I didn’t play a tie-breaker, for me that’s pretty rare,” Opelka said. “Physically I feel really good which is most important for me. I’m playing pretty loose and focusing on getting better right now.”
The Oracle Challenger Series – Newport Beach is free to spectators. Matches begin at 10 a.m. each day of the tournament. General Admission tickets will be distributed on a first come, first served basis at the Newport Beach Tennis Club starting at 9 a.m. Tickets will not be available in advance. Individual spectators will be permitted up to two tickets at the time of entry.
Ticket availability updates during the tournament, are available on Twitter at @OracleChallngrs and Facebook at www.facebook.com/OracleChallngrs/
For Friday’s men’s Order of Play, click here.
For Friday’s women’s Order of Play, click here.
For men’s singles main draw, click here.
For women’s singles main draw, click here.
For men’s doubles main draw, click here.
For women’s doubles main draw, click here.
For live scoring, go to: http://oraclechallengerseries.com/
Live audio play-by-play of the women’s singles final, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, January 28 and the men’s singles final, which will follow, will be broadcast live on RadioTennis.com. Tennis broadcaster Ken Thomas will provide the web cast commentary at www.radiotennis.com.