NEW HAVEN–As the US Open winds down, another tournament featuring some of the best men and women in the game is also hitting the home stretch.

Ninety minutes away by car from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, players on the ATP and WTA tours have converged on the courts this week at Yale University as a new stop of the Oracle Challenger Series. With a wild card to the men’s and women’s event in Indian Wells on the line for the top American finisher in the series, the draws in Connecticut have featured a mix of up-and-comers and veterans battling it out for the titles.

“All of the Oracle events have a great reputation for being supportive,” said Nicole Gibbs, who advanced to the round of 16. “So we know going in that the management’s going to be good, it’s going to be run well. And then, plus, it’s the site of the old event, the Connecticut Open, so all of us know that the facilities here are great.”

The tournament’s proximity to the site of the year’s fourth major is an added bonus, Gibbs said.

“It’s just down the road from the US Open,” she said. “As long as you can manage the fatigue from coming from New York, I think it’s a great scheduling move for a lot of the American players, especially.”

On the men’s side, five of the eight players that advanced to the quarterfinals were from the U.S., and after those matches, an American finalist is guaranteed. Noah Rubin, who took out the No. 7 and No. 10 seeds on his way to the last eight, defeated world No. 77 and top seed Andreas Seppi.


He’ll take on countryman Tommy Paul, the No. 6 seed, in the semifinals. In the other semi, former UCLA standout Marcos Giron of the U.S. will face the third seed, Damir Dzhumhur.

Half of the remaining eight players on the women’s side were Americans, with two of them advancing to the semifinals. Former University of Southern California standout Danielle Lao will battle Great Britain’s Heather Watson, the 11thseed, and Usue Arconada of the U.S. will take on Heather Watson of Great Britain, while Lauren Davis, the third seed, will go up against Anna Blinkova of Russia, seeded seventh. In her last tournament of 2018, Davis fought through the qualifying rounds at the Oracle event in Houston and advanced to the final.

Nine months later in Connecticut, the world No. 73 will be looking to go a couple of steps further.

Follow Van on Twitter: @Van_Sias

Pros return to New
Haven for new 
Oracle stop

Pros return to New Haven for new Oracle stop

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