TAYLOR FRITZ SCORES STRAIGHT-SET VICTORY TO
ADVANCE AT ORACLE CHALLENGER SERIES – INDIAN WELLS
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – (February 27, 2018) – Fourth-seeded Taylor Fritz of Palos Verdes, Calif., got off to an impressive start at the Oracle Challenger Series as he powered his way for a 6-3, 6-3 first-round victory over fellow American Noah Rubin in 56 minutes.
On a cool and cloudy day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Fritz and Rubin were on serve through the first seven games of the first set. Serving at 3-4, Rubin took a 40-0 lead, but Fritz won five straight points to break serve and take a 5-3 lead.
In the next game, Fritz slammed two aces and won his serve at love to put away the first set in 29 minutes. “I started off a little slow. He (Rubin) was getting the better of me from the baseline at the beginning of the match,” Fritz said. “I started feeling out my groundstrokes and playing better from the baseline…winning more points.”
Rubin served two double faults in the opening game of the second set and ultimately dropped his serve to give Fritz a critical service break.
When asked about the early break of serve, Fritz said, “(It was) huge, because then I could play the whole second set relaxed knowing there is no pressure to break his serve. All I had to do was hold my serve. It was a nice cushion to have.”
Fritz, who came into Indian Wells this week ranked No. 77 in the world, was dominant in his four service games in the second set, dropping only 4 points. After holding serve for a 5-3 lead, he confidently broke Rubin at love to close out the match.
In other men’s first-round action, unseeded American Stefan Kozlov stunned second-seeded Mirza Basic of Bosnia-Herzegovina 7-5, 6-4. Basic is currently ranked No. 76 in the ATP World Tour singles rankings.
Fritz, the winner of last month’s Oracle Challenger Series in Newport Beach, Calif., will meet Norbert Gombos of Slovakia in a second-round match on Wednesday.
Two former USTA Girls’ 18s national champions faced off in a first-round match in the women’s singles draw as Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, Fla., got past Sachia Vickery of Miramar, Fla., 6-3, 6-2
On Wednesday, former two-time NCAA singles champion Nicole Gibbs of Los Angeles will take on fellow American Amanda Anisimova of Aventura, Fla., in second-round action.
Play will start each day at 10 a.m. Gates will open at 9 a.m. Admission and on-site parking for spectators at the Oracle Challenger Series – Indian Wells is free. Attendees can enter Gate 2 from Washington Street. Selected concessions will open at 11 a.m. For additional event information, go to: oraclechallengerseries.com.
The tournament in Indian Wells is the second event of the Oracle Challenger Series. The first event was played on January 20-28, 2018 at the Newport Beach Tennis Club in Newport Beach, Calif. Taylor Fritz of Palos Verdes, Calif., captured the men’s singles title with a 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 victory over fellow American Bradley Klahn in the final. Former two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins of St. Petersburg, Fla., defeated Sofya Zhuk of Russia 2-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the women’s singles final.
The top two male and top two female Americans with the highest accumulated points in the Oracle Challenger Series will be awarded wildcards in their respective singles main draws at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open, held March 5-18 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
About the Oracle Challenger Series – The Oracle Challenger Series was created to offer American tennis players more opportunities and builds on Oracle’s commitment to help support U.S. tennis for men and women at both the collegiate and professional level. The Series will feature equal prize money in a groundbreaking tournament format that combines the ATP Challenger Tour and WTA 125K Series.
Beyond expanding the number of chances to compete, the Series offers an unmatched potential prize of wild cards for top American finishers into the main draw of the BNP Paribas Open, which is widely considered the top combined ATP World Tour and WTA professional tennis tournament in the world.
About the Indian Wells Tennis Garden – The Indian Wells Tennis Garden opened in March 2000 and is a world-class tennis venue home to the renowned BNP Paribas Open. The site features the newly-renovated Stadium 1, the second largest tennis stadium in the world. The 16,100-seat stadium underwent a full-scale renovation before the 2017 BNP Paribas Open that added more than 20 new dining options and completed re-constructed the concourse and suite level. The Tennis Garden also houses an 8,000-seat permanent Stadium 2 with three gourmet restaurants, including world-famous Nobu. The Indian Wells Tennis Garden features two 19,000 square foot shade structures, 28 world-class courts, eight acres of exhibition space, a full-service, year-round tennis club, and 55 acres of outdoor parking.
Oracle Challenger Series Indian Wells
Indian Wells Tennis Garden
Indian Wells, Calif.
 M. Copil (ROU) d L. Broady (GBR) 62 61
S. Kozlov (USA) d  M. Basic (BIH) 75 64
 V. Pospisil (CAN) d C. Hemery (FRA) 63 67(4) 63
 T. Fritz (USA) d [WC] N. Rubin (USA) 63 63
 J. Chardy (FRA) d B. Klahn (USA) 63 64
[Q] C. Harrison (USA) d  Y. Hanfmann (GER) 36 63 63
[Q] M. Krueger (USA) d [WC] R. Opelka (USA) 63 64
D. King (BAR) d [Q] A. Sarkissian (USA) 75 06 63
D. Novikov (USA) d [LL] N. Scholtz (RSA) 67(6) 64 64
[Q] M. Giron (USA) d A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) 63 76(3)
P. Polansky (CAN) d [WC] E. King (USA) 64 62
 J. Chardy (FRA) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d M. Copil (ROU) / M. Klizan (SVK) 75 64
A. Krajicek (USA) / J. Withrow (USA) d A. Menendez-Maceiras (ESP) / D. Sela (ISR) 76(4) 75
 M. Linette (POL) d [Q] V. Duval (USA) 63 46 62
 V. Lepchenko (USA) d [Q] M. Doi (JPN) 76(5) 57 76(2)
 S. Hsieh (TPE) d [WC] A. Kratzer (USA) 64 75
 K. Bondarenko (UKR) d E. Rodina (RUS) 46 63 64
[Q] S. Errani (ITA) d  J. Brady (USA) 62 62
 Y. Duan (CHN) d K. Nara (JPN) 76(5) 63
K. Ahn (USA) d T. Townsend (USA) 75 61
S. Kenin (USA) d S. Vickery (USA) 63 62
R. Hogenkamp (NED) d A. Riske (USA) 46 62 62
S. Chang (USA) / A. Mueller (USA) d  R. Olaru (ROU) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 63 75
[WC] J. Elbaba (USA) / I. Neel (USA) d P. Goncalves (BRA) / S. Marand (USA) 36 76(8) 10-1
A. Petkovic (GER) / F. Schiavone (ITA) d A. Tomljanovic (AUS) / V. Zvonareva (RUS) 64 36 10-5