NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - The in-form Mayo Hibi was one of the few players who managed to complete a win on the first day of the Oracle Challenger Series New Haven, squeezing past Lizette Cabrera 7-5, 6-4 in one hour and 53 minutes to reach the second round.
The Japanese 23-year-old, who scored her maiden WTA victory in San Jose a month ago, out-manoeuvred Cabrera, dragging the Australian from corner to corner with relentlessly accurate slices with a view to ending the point with the coup de grâce of a dropshot or delicately placed volley. Solid on serve, Hibi would only face one break point in the first set - and although World No.189 Cabrera's smooth power clicked in a three-game run in the second set wherein she went from a break down to a break up at 5-3, Hibi reeled the 21-year-old in to take the final four games of the match.
The World No.203 will move on to face No.7 seed Anna Blinkova, who is fresh off stretching World No.1 Naomi Osaka to three sets in the first round of the US Open, in the second round.
Comeback complete 🇺🇸
2019 Oracle US Tennis Award recipient Jamie Loeb battles back from a set down to defeat Yale WC Samantha Martinelli 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
She gets Sorribes Tormo  next. #RoadtoIndianWells pic.twitter.com/QG3z0egfbP
— Oracle Challenger Series (@OracleChallngrs) September 2, 2019
Meanwhile, an all-American clash saw World No.296 Jamie Loeb battle from a set down to overcome unranked wildcard Samantha Martinelli 2-6, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 37 minutes. Loeb, who reached a career high of World No.132 in February 2018, gradually got her big serve working over the course of the match to tally eight aces; by contrast, Yale sophomore Martinelli was increasingly plagued by double faults, committing 10 in total. Loeb will face No.6 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.
The only two remaining matches completed were qualifying tilts which saw No.1 seed Jaimee Fourlis defeat Caroline Dunleavy 6-4, 6-3 and No.2 seed Eri Hozumi come through 6-0, 6-1 over Chelsea Kung.