Sports

Gibbs to meet No. 36 Caroline Garcia in the main draw

 

Former Cardinal standout Nicole Gibbs rallied past Anna Tatishvili, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5, Sunday in the final qualifying round of the Bank of the West Classic, earning a spot in the main draw.

Gibbs, currently ranked No. 126, advanced to the tournament's main draw for the first time in two years.

Tied at 3-3 in the second set, Gibbs ripped the final three games to even the match. Trailing 5-4 in the third frame, Gibbs responded once again by winning the next three games.

Gibbs, who defeated current All-American junior Taylor Davidson, 6-0, 6-2, on Saturday, will not have the luxury of being able to savor the victory.

She heads back to the court Monday, squaring off against France's Caroline Garcia, ranked No. 36, in the second match of the morning session (not before 1 p.m. PT) inside the stadium.

Garcia, who lost her first-round match at Wimbledon, has reached two tournament finals and a quarterfinal this season. She's 7-11 over her past 18 matches.

Gibbs, who compiled a 56-5 career record at Taube Family Tennis Stadium during her college career, lost her first match at Wimbledon and is 6-17 on the year.

An All-American in singles during each of her three seasons at Stanford (2010-13) and two-time NCAA singles champion (2012, 2013), Gibbs elected to forego her senior season and turn pro. Gibbs reached the third round of the 2014 US Open and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 84 in February.

Also in action on Monday will be Stanford junior Carol Zhao, who had a wild-card spot into the main draw. Zhao will face Germany's Mona Barthel, ranked No. 63, in the second match of the night session.

Barthel (11-19) has reached the final of one tour event this year and has won five of her past seven matches.

Zhao reached the second round of last year's tournament, falling to former World No. 1 and French Open champion Ana Ivanovic after making it through the qualifying draw.

The 2015 NCAA singles runner-up, Zhao has earned All-America honors in each of her first two seasons and finished 35-5 overall and 21-2 in duals as a sophomore.

Two weeks ago, Zhao captured a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games, pairing with Gabriela Dabrowski as the Canadian duo defeated Mexico's Victoria Rodriguez and Marcela Zacarias 6-1, 4-6, 10-5.

Tickets for the tournament's opening round start at just $33 while ticket packages start at $205. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.BankoftheWestClassic.com or call 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497).

The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.

— Stanford Athletics

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