Born in Mexico and raised in Austin, Fernanda Contreras has felt at home playing in Texas at the Oracle Pro Series. The 22-year-old won the biggest title of her budding career last week at the Oracle Pro Series – Waco and is looking to continue her hot streak into Dallas.
“These are like home games for me,” said Contreras after her win in the Waco final on Sunday. “My family is an hour and a half away, so it’s amazing to have them here.”
Entered as a qualifying wildcard, Contreras stormed through seven matches en route to the title. Although she is more than thrilled with the result, it’s more about the journey for the former Vanderbilt Commodore.
“I went to Vanderbilt and Coach (Geoff) Macdonald would tell us that you shouldn’t focus on the goals and outcomes, but rather the process. Am I competing at my best? Can I reach my full potential? Don’t compare yourself to other people, your reference point is yourself.”
Contreras embodied that mantra throughout her title run in Waco. She did not drop a set until reaching the final, where she won a tough 3-set battle against reigning French Open junior champion Leylah Fernandez and credits her fight to her attention to detail and the constant will to improve.
“You have to think about it day by day – to put yourself in the best position possible mentally, emotionally and physically to give my all. If I’m good in those three aspects, I can have a solid day. So just think about the little things you can do every day and keep improving.”
Her first singles match in Dallas is scheduled for Wednesday against American wildcard Ellie Douglas at Southern Methodist University. The rest of the field includes 10-time ITF title-winner Anhelina Kalinina, Oracle Pro Series – Claremont champion Katie Swan and former NCAA stars like Jamie Loeb, Jacqueline Cako and Chanelle Van Nguyen.
After her tournament in Dallas is complete, Contreras plans to play an ITF/$80k in Tyler, the Oracle Pro Series – Malibu and hopefully make the cut for the Oracle Challenger Series in Houston.
“Wherever the competition is and I can push myself – that’s where I’ll go.”
Just down the road at Texas Christian University, the Oracle Pro Series – Fort Worth features just as competitive of a player field with the men’s side taking the courts at the Bayard H. Friedman Tennis Center.
Top-seeded Liam Broady, finalist at the Oracle Pro Series – Claremont, joins three other British players in the top five seeds: No.2 Jack Draper, who defeated Americans Jack Sock and Donald Young in Fairfield earlier this month; No.3 Ryan Peniston, who has risen 300 ranking places since the beginning of 2019; and No.5 Lloyd Glasspool, who played college tennis at the University of Texas.
Playing on their home courts are TCU Horned Frogs Tadeas Paroulek and Alastair Gray. Paroulek is a Freshman at TCU and has already seen success on the ITF circuit at a young age. Gray is a senior who was Second Team All-Big 12 in both singles and doubles last year and finished the season ranked No.33 in the Oracle/ITA Division 1 Rankings.
The top-ranked American in the draw is Jordi Arconada, who reached the semifinals in Waco last week and is gunning for his third ITF title of the year.