NCAA Champion Gibbs Advances at Fresh Start Women’s Open

Nicole Gibbs

Nicole Gibbs

By McCarton Ackerman


(February 12, 2013) RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif., - The third edition of the Fresh Start Women’s Open at the Morgan Run Club continued on Sunday with all final round qualifying matches and select first round main draw matches. Last year’s NCAA champion and No. 2 seed Nicole Gibbs survived a tough two-set win, while former world No. 1 junior Irina Khromacheva of Russia also advanced into the second round.

Gibbs breezed out to a 6-1, 4-1 lead against Zuzana Zlochova of Slovakia, but struggled to find the range on her serve in the later stages of the match. However, she saved her best tennis in that set for the tiebreaker, winning the first four points on her way to a 6-1, 7-6 (1) victory.

“I got a little bit tight and started thinking about recent matches I haven’t played well in,” said Gibbs. “But that was a really important, gritty second-set win for me in terms of my confidence and knowing that I’m able to fight out the ones that aren’t super pretty.”

Gibbs has returned to Stanford University for her junior year and is competing on the women’s tennis team, but has sporadically played in pro events this year including the qualifying for the Australian Open. The 19-year-old is currently ranked at a career high of No. 199 on the WTA Tour.

“Juggling everything has definitely gotten the best of me at times, but you have to just compartmentalize as best as you can,” said Gibbs. “When I’m on the tennis court, I’m thinking about tennis. When I’m at school, I’m thinking about school.”

In the only other main draw singles match of the day, No. 7 seed Khromacheva survived a battle of teenagers against promising 15-year-old Belinda Bencic of Switzerland 7-6 (2), 6-2. The 17-year-old Khromacheva, who has won three Grand Slam junior doubles titles including last year’s French Open, also won the biggest pro title of her career last June at the $25,000 event in Perigueux, France.

In final round qualifying action, Americans Asia Muhammed, Jennifer Brady and Sanaz Marand were among the eight players to move into the main draw. They will play their opening round singles matches tomorrow.

All remaining first round singles and doubles matches will take place during Wednesday’s schedule of play. The feature match of the day will see No. 1 seed Irena Pavlovic of France take on Danka Kovinic of Montenegro.

Fresh Start Women’s Open
A USTA Pro Circuit Event
Tuesday, February 12
Morgan Run Club
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Purse: $25,000
Surface: Hard-Outdoor

Tuesday, February 12 – RESULTS

Main Draw Singles – 1st Round
Nicole Gibbs, United States (2), def. Zuzana Zlochova, Slovakia, 6-1, 7-6 (2)
Irina Khromacheva, Russia (7), def. Belinda Bencic, Switzerland, 7-6 (2), 6-2

Main Draw Doubles – 1st Round
Jill Craybas, United States, and Ana Vrljic, Croatia (1), def. Maegan Manasse and Rachel Manasse, United States (WC), 6-3, 6-7 (3), 10-7
Miki Miyamura, Japan, and Yi-Fan Xu, China (2), def. Alla Kudryavtseva and Margarita Lazareva, Russia, 6-3, 7-6 (6)
Jennifer Elie, United States, and Sally Peers, Australia (3), def. Chieh-Yu Hsu, United States, and Katerina Kramperova, Czech Republic, 4-6, 7-6 (4), 10-6
Anamika Bhargava and McCall Harkins, United States, def. Sanaz Marand and Ashley Weinhold, United States, 6-3, 5-7, 12-10
Tara Moore and Melanie South, Great Britain, def. Malou Ejdesgaard, Denmark, and Alize Lim, France (Q), 6-2, 6-1

Qualifying Singles – Final Round
Tetyana Arefyeva, Belarus (4), def. Di Zhao, China, 6-0, 6-4
Katerina Kramperova, Czech Republic (5), def. Ashley Weinhold, United States (9), 7-5, 6-2
Katerina Vankova, Czech Republic (11), def. Indy de Vroome, Netherlands, 7-5, 6-4
Mayo Hibi, Japan (14), def. Ksenia Kirillova, Russia (8), 6-2, 6-2
Viktoria Tomova, Bulgaria, def. Margarita Lazareva, Russia (7), 6-3, 6-2
Asia Muhammed, United States, def. Lenka Wienerova, Slovakia (10), 6-3, 7-6 (5)
Sanaz Marand, United States, def. Allie Will, United States (15), 6-2, 6-2
Jennifer Brady, United States, def. Su Jeong Jang, Korea, 6-4, 6-3

Wednesday’s February 13 – SCHEDULE

Court 1 – starting at 9:30 a.m.
Irena Pavlovic vs. Danka Kovinic, followed by Christina Makarova vs. Samantha Murray, followed by Jill Craybas vs. Chieh-Yu Hsu, followed by Irina Khromacheva/Irena Pavlovic vs. Asia Muhammed/Allie Will

Court 3 – starting at 9:30 a.m.
Sanaz Marand vs. Jennifer Brady, followed by Katerina Kramperova vs. Elizabeth Lumpkin, followed by Alla Kudryavtseva vs. Jennifer Elie, followed by Tara Moore vs. Lisa Whybourn

Court 4 – starting at 9:30 a.m.
Mayo Hibi vs. Asia Muhammed, followed by Yi-Fan Xu vs. Madison Brengle, followed by Tetyana Arefyeva vs Julie Coin, followed by Maria-Fernanda Alvarez Teran/Angelina Gabueva vs. Madison Brengle/Elitsa Kostova

Court 8 – starting at 9:30 a.m
Elitsa Kostova vs. Ana Vrljic, followed by Louisa Chirico vs. Katerina Vankova, followed by Alize Lim vs. Viktoriya Tomova, followed by Sachie Ishizu vs. Petra Rampre