INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA -- No. 4 seed Kateryna Bondarenko and Yanina Wickmayer cruised into the quarterfinals of the Oracle Challenger Series event at Indian Wells on Wednesday, setting up a rematch of an important Grand Slam encounter from nearly a decade ago.
Bondarenko, from Ukraine, dispatched Dutchwoman Richel Hogenkamp, 6-3, 6-0, in the second round of this WTA 125K Series event. The fourth seed claimed an excellent 75 percent of points on her second serve during the match, while Hogenkamp could only manage 33 percent on her second delivery.
The Ukrainian was tested on serve only once, fending off two break points before holding for 4-1 in the first set. Those were Hogenkamp's only chances throughout the match, and Bondarenko eased to victory from there in 48 minutes.
Wickmayer, from Belgium, was nearly as impressive in her second-round victory, as she ousted up-and-coming American teenager Sofia Kenin, 6-3, 6-3, in one hour and ten minutes. Kenin took the early 3-0 lead in the match before Wickmayer stormed back, winning ten games in a row to claim an overwhelming 6-3, 4-0 lead.
The Belgian blinked once more, dropping serve in the next game to let Kenin on the board, but it was smooth sailing from there, as she eventually served out the match at love to move into the quarterfinals.
Thus, Bondarenko and Wickmayer will relitigate their 2009 US Open quarterfinal match, where they both surprisingly made it to the final eight as unseeded players. Wickmayer won that match in straight sets to advance to the semifinals, where she was ousted by Caroline Wozniacki. That event is still the best major performance for both Wickmayer and Bondarenko.
— Oracle Challenger Series (@OracleChallngrs) February 28, 2018
16-year-old American Amanda Anisimova also reached the quarterfinals in swift fashion, as the New Jersey native and reigning US Open juniors champion eliminated compatriot Nicole Gibbs, 6-4, 6-0, in just under an hour.
Anisimova, who came into the draw through the qualifying, was overpowering on return, winning well over half the points when Gibbs was serving. The teenager awaits the winner of the match between No.3 seed Hsieh Su-wei of Chinese Taipei and American Caroline Dolehide.
Finally, Australian Ajla Tomljanovic entered the quarterfinals when No. 2 seed Varvara Lepchenko of the United States had to retire while the match was tied at 4-6, 6-1. Tomljanovic had just won the second set in 34 minutes when Lepchenko, who logged a marathon opening match, called it quits.
The tournament in Indian Wells is the second and final event of the Oracle Challenger Series. The first event was played in Newport Beach, California, in January. Two-time NCAA singles champion Danielle Collins of the United States defeated former Wimbledon junior champion Sofya Zhuk of Russia, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, to win that title.
It was an important victory for Collins, as the American with the highest accumulated points in the Oracle Challenger Series will receive a wild card into the singles main draw at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells next month.