Stanford grad Nicole Gibbs defeated 70th-ranked Italian Francesca Schiavone, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, on Sunday to qualify for the main draw of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
The 34-year-old Schiavone, who won the French Open in 2010 and has been ranked as high as fourth in the world, was coming off her best result of the season to date when she squared off with the 142nd-ranked Gibbs.
Schiavione, who has won six career WTA Tour titles, reached the semifinal round at Baku two weeks ago and had won five of her previous seven main draw matches. She's looking for her first tournament win since April of 2013 in Morocco.
Gibbs, who faced Schiavone for the first time, has played McHale, though not since a qualifying tournament in Boston six years ago. McHale, ranked 50th, has won both previous meetings.
The winner of Gibbs-McHale will face the winner of Monday night's match between Cirstea Sorana and Ana Ivanovic.
This story contains 236 words.
If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.
If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.