HONOLULU, December 27, 2019
The 2019 Hawaii Open kicked off with an energetic Pro-Am at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina followed by a packed Media Day at Ward Village. In the opening match Belgian Yanina Wickmayer defeated local tennis pro Alyssa Tobita in straight sets.
Wickmayer has five singles titles since turning pro in 2004 and reached a career-high ranking of No. 12 in 2010. She represented Belgium in the 2012 Olympics and represented the country in the Fed Cup from 2007-2016. Tobita is from Mililani and is one of the most decorated players to come out of Hawaii. She graduated from University of Oregon in 2018 where she earned a national ranking of #43 in singles and #10 in doubles. She currently is ranked on the WTA tour and is a part-time tennis pro at the Kailua Racquet Club.
Later on Thursday, Christian Harrison and Brandon Nakashima, who turned pro this year after playing at the NCAA level for University of Virginia, battled in the second match with Nakashima upsetting Harrison in straight sets.
For the first time, the venue on the campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa will host the three-day tournament. Players include three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber; 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist Danielle Collins; 2017 Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey; American player Taylor Fritz; Japanese player Misaki Doi; and Australian player Jordan Thompson.
Sharapova, Nishikori withdraw
Five-time Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova, announced her withdrawal from the tournament.
“I’m disappointed to announce my withdrawal from the Hawaii Open. I find myself needing a little more time and preparation before my first tournament back. I wish I could be there to see my fans who were coming to watch me play.”
At the Hawaii Open Media Day this morning, Kei Nishikori also announced his withdrawal from the tournament, as he works to rehabilitate from his recent surgery.
“Unfortunately I have to pull out of the Hawaii Open this year. I am not 100% ready yet,” said Nishikori. “It is very disappointing as I love coming here.” However, Kei expressed that he will be at the tournament to support other players and said, “I look forward to meeting tennis fans here this week.”
Three rounds of exhilarating single-elimination matches will be played over three days in a best two-out-of-three set format. Third sets will be played as a tie break with the first to 10 points declared the winner. Daily tournament ticket prices begin at $10. Tickets can be purchased at www.hawaiitennisopen.com
RESULTS – DECEMBER 27, 2018
Men’s Day 1 Matches
B. Nakashima (USA) d. C. Harrison (USA) 60 61
Women’s Day 2 Matches
Y. Wickmayer (BEL) d. A. Tobita (USA) 61 61