Stanford grad Nicole Gibbs is one of four Americans moving into the semifinals of the USTA Player Development Women's $50,000 Classic at the USTA Training Center/West at StubHub Center in Carson.
Gibbs, a two-time NCAA singles champion will face 18-year-old New Yorker Louisa Chirico in one semifinal on Saturday while former US Open quarterfinalist Melanie Oudin will take on 26-year-old veteran and former University of North Carolina star Sanaz Marand following the 10 a.m. doubles final.
Gibbs didn't miss the opportunity to plug tournament sponsor USTA Player Development after her close straight-set win over An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium.
"I can't speak on the men's side because they have fewer, but I think that's where the focus has been," Gibbs said of negative press coverage U.S. tennis has received. "Sometimes the media makes a blanket statement about the state of U.S. tennis and it not being what it used to be. And I think that's wrong. I think USTA Player Development on the women's side is doing an outstanding job getting players into the top 100."
Oudin just returned back to the States five days before the Carson event began on Tuesday following nine weeks in Europe that was capped off by a solid semifinal showing at a $100,000 ITF tournament in France.