2014/10/25

Melanie Oudin and Nicole Gibbs to Meet in Carson Final

MelanieOudin7172012

CARSON, July 19, 2014 – Melanie Oudin and Nicole Gibbs survived sluggish first-set losses to advance to Sunday’s singles final of the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic being played at the USTA Training Center – West at StubHub Center.

 

Both players called the first game of the second set the turning point in their matches.

 

The No. 4-seeded Oudin dropped the first set to unseeded American Sanaz Marand, but came back to win 10 games in a row at one point to roll, 2-6, 6-0, 6-1, over the former University of North Carolina lefthander.

 

“I was trying to step in and take the ball early but I just could not find my timing,” said Oudin, 22, who went back out on a practice court with her coach for 20 minutes after the match. “I had never faced her before or even practiced with her. She has a really heavy forehand so I started playing her backhand in the second set.

 

The defending champion and No. 2-seeded Gibbs also dropped the first set against 18-year-old New Yorker Louisa Chirico, and had a bit of a tougher time closing her out, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was the third time the two had squared off this year and each time it has gone three sets. Just last week at the Sacramento Challenger, Chirico eliminated Gibbs in the second round.

 

“She came out very strong and won like the first nine points of the match,” said Gibbs, 21. “She was the aggressor and wasn’t making any errors. It was a little bit of an intimidating start. But I started to make some more balls and force the issue with her.

 

“The first game of the second set I just felt more energized,” Gibbs added.

 

Oudin and Gibbs have never met as pros, but Gibbs did recall the first and only time the two had played each other at the Carson International Spring Championships when they were juniors.

 

“I must have been 13 and she was 14, and it was right over there on that exact court,” said Gibbs, pointing to Court 4, which serves as the featured court. “She just destroyed me. It was back when she was winning everything. Hopefully it will be a different result.”

 

Gibbs said she not only looks up to Oudin because of her successful pro career, which includes a US Open quarterfinal appearance at age 17, a US Open mixed doubles title, one WTA singles title and a career-high WTA ranking of 31 back in 2010, but because of her 5-foot-6 height. “I have a ton of respect for her,” Gibbs said. “She’s definitely someone I’ve looked up to, for one reason because of her stature,” Gibbs said. “A lot of people think tennis is only for tall girls and big hitters.”

 

The top-seeded doubles team of Olivia Rogowska of Austria and Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands captured the doubles title and will split the $2,786 for their 7-6 (4), 6-1, victory over the young U.S. pairing of Samantha Crawford and Sachia Vickery, who split $1,053.

 

Tomorrow’s singles final will take place at 10 a.m.

 

Singles Final: No. 4 seed Melanie Oudin vs. No. 2 seed Nicole Gibbs

 

This tournament is being streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com.

 

The USTA Pro Circuit event in Carson is taking the place for a women’s tournament in Yakima, Wash., that was faced with a fire in mid-May. The fire destroyed the host site’s clubhouse and impacted some of the adjoining tennis courts.

 

Admission is free and open to the public all week. For additional information about the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic, visit www.usta.com/carson.

 

USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic

A USTA Pro Circuit Event

Saturday, July 19

USTA Training Center – West at StubHub Center

Carson, Calif.

Purse: $50,000

Surface: Hard-Outdoor

 

Saturday, July 19 – RESULTS

Singles – Semifinals

(4) Melanie Oudin (USA) def. Sanaz Marand (USA), 2-6, 6-0, 6-1

(2) Nicole Gibbs (USA) def. Louisa Chirico (USA) 1-6, 6-2, 6-4

 

Doubles Final

(1) Olivia Rogowska (AUS)/Michaella Krajicek (NED) def. Samantha Crawford (USA)/Sachia Vickery (USA) 7-6 (4), 6-1

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Pro Tennis Returns to Carson Next Week

Nicole Gibbs by Dave Kenas / For the USTA

Nicole Gibbs by Dave Kenas / For the USTA

CARSON, July 10, 2014 – The USTA announced that the USTA Training Center – West at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., will host the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic next week.

 

The USTA Pro Circuit event is taking the place for a women’s tournament in Yakima, Wash., that was faced with a fire in mid-May. The fire destroyed the host site’s clubhouse and impacted some of the adjoining tennis courts.

 

The field for the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic will feature 32 singles players and 16 doubles teams. The main draw will be held from Tuesday, July 15, to Sunday, July 20. The qualifying tournament will be held from Sunday, July 13, to Tuesday, July 15. This tournament will be streamed live on www.procircuit.usta.com.

 

Carson is the second of three consecutive women’s hard-court tournaments thatmake up the USTA Pro Circuit’s US Open Wild Card Challenge, which will award amen’s and women’s wild card into the 2014 US Open. The American woman who earns the most WTA ranking points at two of the three USTA Pro Circuit hard-court events in Sacramento, Calif., Carson, and Lexington, Ky., will receive a USTA wild card to compete in the main draw of the US Open, which will be held Sunday, Aug. 25, to Monday, Sept. 8. Only players who did not receive direct entry into the US Open are eligible for the wild cards.

 

World No. 127 Olivia Rogowska, of Australia, will be the top seed in Carson. Notable American players expected to compete include:

 

  • Former world No. 31 Melanie Oudin, the 2009 US Open quarterfinalist and 2010 US Open mixed doubles champion
  • Nicole Gibbs, the 2012 and 2013 NCAA singles champion for Stanford
  • Madison Brengle, who holds five USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and five doubles titles
  • Shelby Rogers, who earned a wild card into the 2013 US Open and French Open by winning USTA wild card challenges that utilize the USTA Pro Circuit
  • Sachia Vickery, who earned a wild card into the 2014 Australian Open and the 2013 US Open (as the USTA Girls’ 18s singles champion)
  • Samantha Crawford, the 2012 US Open girls’ singles champion
  • Former Top 10 junior Louisa Chirico, a girls’ singles semifinalist at the French Open and Wimbledon in 2013
  • Maria Sanchez, the formerly No. 1-ranked college tennis player and a former All-American for USC

Players receiving main draw wild cards include:

  • Kristie Ahn, who completed her senior season at Stanford this past year, earning a final No. 4 ranking in the ITA rankings and receiving multiple All-American honors in both singles and doubles throughout her collegiate career. Ahn was a finalist at a USTA Pro Circuit event in Carson in 2010 before heading to Stanford.
  • Jamie Loeb, who recently completed her freshman season for the University of North Carolina, where she was the top-ranked college tennis player for most of the year
  • Chanelle Van Nguyen, a UCLA standout
  • Chiara Scholl, a four-time USTA Pro Circuit singles and doubles champion

 

The USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic will host a special Kids’ Day event on Saturday, July 19, from 8:30 am to 9:45 am. Kids of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend the clinic. It will be held in conjunction with the Southern California Tennis Association and RAMP Tennis.

 

Carson has a strong history of hosting USTA Pro Circuit events. In 2005, the USTA Player Development staff ran its first-ever $50,000 event in Carson when Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. and the men’s event was unable to take place in Louisiana. Since then, the USTA Player Development staff has hosted both men’s and/or women’s events from 2007-2011 with a number of standout players competing during those years.

 

Admission is free and open to the public. For additional information about the USTA Player Development Women’s $50,000 Classic, visit www.usta.com/carson.

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Teams On The Edge

Courier and Bryans

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(February 1, 2014) SAN DIEGO – With the Southern California sun finally making an appearance and a partisan crowd finally making their presence both seen and heard, it was clearly a new day in this US vs. Great Britain Davis Cup World Group tie.  Nonetheless, the American team was still haunted by yesterday’s failures at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

For a doubles pairing that had just kept the American side alive in this Davis Cup, the Bryan Brothers were in no mood for celebrating—or even smiling—about their win today, neither was US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier.  The Bryans raised their record as a team to 21-4 in the competition on the back of a decisive 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Dominic Inglot and Colin Fleming. Yet, it was clear from the beginning of their press conference that the twins had other things on their minds.

 

“Always feels bad to let the team down,” Bob said.  He was responding to the first question raised.  While the query was about winning this match following two uncharacteristic, five-set Davis Cup losses a season ago, Bryan’s allusion wasn’t lost on anyone.  Bob was as much referencing the still-stinging memories of their 2013 Davis Cup campaign as he was yesterday’s upset loss by Sam Querrey at the hands of James Ward.

 

The Bryans had little mercy on their opponents today, avenging their teammate’s defeat by drawing 45 forced errors from the British pair in a match that didn’t reach the two-hour mark.  Their only hiccup, a loose game on Bob’s serve in the third set, that cost the USA a straight sets triumph. “I think they just take it to you every time,” said Inglot about his opponents. “They always ask a question of you and they’re never going to give you any free points.” “The match can rush away from you,” Fleming added.  “When we got behind in sets, it can become a blur against them.”

 

As uncharitable as the Bryans were on-court, Courier matched in the pressroom.  When asked about Querrey’s chances of springing an upset of 2-time major champion Andy Murray tomorrow, Courier fired with little hesitation, “He’s going to have to play significantly better than he did yesterday to stand a chance.” The British squad, while realistic, wasn’t taking anything for granted.  When asked about Andy Murray’s chances against a player who had just suffered a disappointing loss, another thinly veiled reference to Querrey, British captain Leon Smith stifled the rumor of a smile breaking out on his face and replied “Very good.  Yeah, very good.”

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

Related articles:

Motivated Murray Dismisses Young

Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

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Expectations, Or The Lack Thereof; Ward Upsets Querrey

James Ward

James Ward

By Vito Ellison, Special to Tennis Panorama News

(January 31, 2014) SAN DIEGO – “Yeah, from London, Arsenal fan, see myself as a pretty normal bloke,” that’s how James Ward described himself to the assembled press following what was a rather abnormal moment in his career.  On a temporary red clay court constructed in the outfield of a baseball field, 175th ranked James Ward stunned No. 49 Sam Querrey 1-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in 3 hours and 10 minutes at Petco Park in San Diego.

 

Querrey opened the match in ominous form.  Although he only served 52% in the frame, he stormed to a 6-1 lead in 26 minutes.  This US Davis Cup team’s alpha male was doing the expected versus a presumably outmatched opponent and without much help from his most vaunted weapon.  Asked about moving on from that first set in his post match presser, Ward deadpanned “I thought I couldn’t play much worse than I did in the first set anyway.”

 

With Ward unable to inflict much scoreboard pressure early, he waited for his chances, fully knowing that the situation should ultimately reward him with a few. “They’re one rubber down,” Ward noted. “He’s expected to beat me on paper.  He’s not in an easy position.” After splitting the first six games of the second set though, it looked as if Querrey were about to re-establish his authority on the match. Ward engineered an unlikely comeback from 0-40 down on his serve to hold for 4-3 on serve.  The set went to a tiebreak and it was in that pressure cooker that the big-serving Californian first lost his grip on the match.

 

Sam Querrey

Sam Querrey

It was a topsy turvy affair for the next two sets, Querrey opening the 3rd set strongly, riding newfound momentum to a 6-3 win, backed up by a 4-2 lead in the 4th.  From there, with the expectations shifted back to Querrey, the American, up two sets to one, with a break in the fourth, would only win one more game.  “You know, I think he started to gain some momentum and get some reads on my serve,” Querrey said reflecting on the match.  “You know, kudos to him for making some big shots in the latter part of the match.”

 

The crowd, which had largely been out of the matches all afternoon, in part thanks to Andy Murray’s suffocating victory over Donald Young in the first rubber, began desperately cheering for Querrey to right the ship, but to no avail.  The American No. 1 found himself in a fifth set, a place where he had a 2-7 record; in Davis Cup where he had a 4-6 record.  He wouldn’t improve any of those numbers tonight and his loss leaves the Americans with yet another stat line to try to reverse, 0-2.  The Americans are down 0-2 to Great Britain and will begin trying to take the long road back, starting with the Bryan Brothers tomorrow.  With Murray up next for Querrey, it’ll be the American’s turn to play with no expectations.

 

Vito Ellison is in San Diego, California covering the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Great Britain for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his updates on the site’s twitter @TennisNewsTPN, on his personal twitter @vblacklabel. and visit his site Blacklabeltennis.com.

Related article:

Motivated Murray Dismisses Young

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USTA NorCal Honors Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe

(L-R) Golden State Warriors legend Alvin Attles, USTA NorCal President Michael Cooke, Beyond the Baseline Icon Award recipient Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, and D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

(L-R) Golden State Warriors legend Alvin Attles, USTA NorCal President Michael Cooke, Beyond the Baseline Icon Award recipient Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, and D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer

By Kevin Ware

(November 12, 2013) SAN FRANCISCO – Rarely has the word ‘legacy’ seemed so inadequate when used to describe the life of a legend like tennis great Arthur Ashe. But such was the case last week at the USTA Northern California’s “Beyond the Baseline: USTA Honors the Legacy of Arthur Ashe and Community Tennis” event in San Francisco.

The word legacy often implies a lingering and often benign effect from past actions. If last week was any indication, however, Arthur’s legacy is alive and well with an active impact on youths in communities across the country.

Most know of Arthur’s notable on-court achievements; like the fact that he was the first African-American US Open champion in the Open Era, or that he was also the first (and as of yet, only) African-American gentlemen’s champion at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open.

What many may not realize is that Arthur was also a visionary who believed in bringing change to the world through sports and education. Through programs like National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL), Arthur used tennis as a means to teach kids about sport and much more.

Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Arthur’s widow, put it best: “The purpose of the NJTL wasn’t in teaching kids how to play tennis. It was about getting them to come out and play sports. And then after you got them playing sports you could teach them about life, and life lessons. That was the important lesson of NJTL.”

Since Arthur’s death in 1993, Jeanne has expanded upon the work begun by her late husband with the Arthur Ashe Learning Center (AALC). As stated on their website, the AALC focuses on education, health and wellness, citizenship and self-reliance. By doing so, the AALC attempts to foster “empowerment and leadership in the individual and the community, elevating their sense of purpose and quality of life.”

For her tireless efforts in pursuit of Arthur’s vision, Jeanne was presented the “Beyond the Baseline Icon Award”.  Jeanne graciously made it a point to take pictures with all of the honorees as well as the many young people and fans in attendance. It’s clear to anyone who sees her in action that she finds great purpose in the AALC’s work, and does whatever she can to spread Arthur’s philosophy of sports, education, and empowerment.

When asked how it felt to see the positive effects of Arthur’s work on so many lives over the years, including myself, she stated, “It’s amazing. Simply amazing.” Truer words were never spoken on an evening where many of the local honorees spoke of their beginnings in the NJTL, with some going on to run programs. For a program that was started in 1969, the impact of Ashe many within the tennis community is far-reaching.

Likewise, Jeanne was quick to remind us that Arthur was just a man, not a deity, and that his message of personal empowerment through sports was one that could be spread by all of us. She also reminded us that even though Arthur was the first African-American man to achieve Slam success, the most important aspect of his wins was the fact that he was, first and foremost, an American.

“It wasn’t an Australian that won (the US Open), nor a Spaniard, or German, or Englishman. It was an American. Arthur was an American.”  Though his presence understandably inspired many African-Americans, Arthur’s legacy goes well beyond race. His aim was global, and his intent was to help as many as possible.

Thankfully for us all, Jeanne is here to make sure that we all continue to do our part in carrying that message forward.

In addition to Moutoussamy-Ashe’s Icon Award, USTA NorCal presented awards to ten Bay Area “Beyond the Baseline” Honorees. The local recipients included Michael Applegate, David Van Brunt, Cassandra Borjon, Henry and Connie Chang, Christine Costamagna, Don Johnson, Barbara Lewis, Michael London, and Susan Pretel.

All were honored for their efforts and commitment on behalf of tennis in their own communities. The evening was hosted by Ted Robinson, “The Voice of the 49ers” and frequent tennis announcer.

Kevin Ware is a blogger, writer, and tennis-loving USTA official living in San Francisco.  You can visit his website at www.sftennisfreak.com, and follow him on twitter @SFTennisFreak.

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Cibulkova Beats Radwanska in Dramatic Fashion at Stanford

Cibulkova wins BOTWC

By Kevin Ware

(July 28, 2013) STANFORD, CA – The last time Dominika Cibulkova faced Agnieszka Radwanska on a tennis court, it ended in a 6-0, 6-0 drubbing in Sydney.  In today’s Bank of the West final, she erased that brutal memory with a dramatic 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback victory for her third career title, and her first win over her Polish opponent.

But it wasn’t easy.

The first set went on serve until the fifth game, with Cibulkova broken at love in a game that ended emphatically with a jumping over-the-shoulder overhead by Radwanska. She had a chance to break back three games later but was unable to convert the one break point she managed to get against Radwanska’s impressive defense.

Having missed that lone opportunity for a break, she was broken again at love in the next game to hand Radwanska the set, along with a fair bit of momentum heading into the second set.

Cibulkova administered a measure of payback and broke Radwanska at love for 4-3 lead in the second set. That one break was all she needed to take the match into a decisive third.

After dropping the second set, Radwanska left court to regroup with a bathroom break. Cibulkova took this opportunity to call for a coach visit.  When asked afterward why she called him after winning the set, Cibulkova had this to say:

“(I called him) because I felt it’s the right time, you know, and he also wanted to tell me something. He told me to stick with my game, and he told me some extra things that I can do. And he calmed me down. He said everything was fine and I’m playing well. Just to keep it up and do a little small changes.”

The brief off-court break initially appeared to help Radwanska at the start of the third set. She began with a strong service hold, including two aces, and regained vital momentum as she raced to a 3-1 lead after another break of the Cibulkova serve.

Cibulkova, however, had other ideas and started working her way back into the match with fearless hitting. She plays with an aggressive “High risk, high reward” strategy, because she’s a big believer in putting fate into your own hands. After her semifinal match against Sorana Cirstea, she said: “I’d rather lose it myself than she hit the winner!”

At times it looked as if the risks were greater than rewards. But as the third set progressed and the breaks of serve from Radwanska’s side mounted (three total for the set), the payoff was evident.  A final break of serve for 5-4 gave Cibulkova a chance to serve for the match.

Closing a match is never easy, and this one was no exception. Nerves got the best of Cibulkova on her first three match points as she sent each of three nervous forehands beyond the baseline. The fourth match point featured a thrilling stab drop volley winner by Radwanska on a strong Cibulkova passing shot.

Cibulkova finally won on her fifth match point with a screaming backhand cross court winner that the exhausted Radwanska could only watch. She dropped to her back and savored the well-earned victory.

Radwanska had chances but wasn’t able to convert when it mattered. Her first serve percentage was lower than Cibulkova’s (52% vs. 56%), and was a major reason she faced 14 break points in the match.

Afterward, she talked about some of the issues she faced this week with the court conditions at Stanford, which she never really got used to, and how they affected her game. “I didn’t play my best tennis at all today. I think everything was a problem for me. I couldn’t feel the ball well – actually I couldn’t feel the ball the whole tournament.”

The dramatically different daytime conditions for the final were also problematic for Radwanska, who’d played all of her previous matches as the evening headliner.

“When I played at night it was much slower so I could try something else and mixing up and be in the match. Here it was different, the sun and the heat and everything.”

Apart from a precautionary wrapping of ice on her Achilles, Cibulkova was all smiles after the match.  She was jokingly asked about the Sydney final, and whether this was how she responds to a love-love loss.

“The difference between Sydney and today was that I made the first game. And after the first game I looked at my coach and was like, “Here we go. I’m here and it’s gonna be good today.”

It was a good day for Cibulkova, but it could also have been a good day for Radwanska. In a match with 205 total points, Cibulkova won 104 to Radwanska’s 101. Three points separated the two over the course of a 2:30 match. It doesn’t get much closer than that.

When asked if she was going to treat herself to anything special after such a big win, Cibulkova had to think long and hard for a reply. “I don’t know. I bought myself a new car (a Range Rover Sport) before the tournament, so I don’t know. I’ll save some money.”

Kevin Ware was covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site kevware.com/tennis/.

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Seeds Cibulkova and Hampton Overcome Inspired Opponents

DSCN8179

By Kevin Ware

Dominika Cibulkova [3] defeats Stephanie Voegele 7-5 7-6(5)

(July 25, 2013) STANFORD, CA – Worries about fitness and the lingering effects of an Achilles injury fell by the wayside for Dominika Cibulkova after she overcame Stephanie Voegele of Switzerland 7-5 7-6(5) in the first match of the day on stadium court.

She showed no signs of slowness or hesitation, but did sport a layer of physio tape on her lower leg. “The tape is for prevention. My Achilles will always be tough to deal with because I have this problem with the bone. That’s why my physio has to take good care of it so that I can keep playing.”

Though her leg was fine, the rust in her game was another matter. She struggled to close out the first set after leading 5-2, only doing so after breaking the Voegele serve in the eleventh game to take it at 7-5.

With the first set under her belt, Cibulkova looked poised to close out the second in more direct fashion. Voegele had other ideas, once again working her way back into the match after Cibulkova had lead 5-2.

Fittingly, the second set ended in a tiebreaker that Cibulkova won with fearless hitting from her forehand at 5-all, before serving it out on her first match point.

When asked afterward if she’d expected such a tough match from her Swiss opponent, Cibulkova was very complimentary of her Voegele’s abilities.

“I expected a really tough match because she’s playing really well at this time. I played her long time ago but remember how she’s playing close to the lines.”

“I just made it tough for myself. In the end I made it, but it could be easier for me.”

Hampton wins

Jamie Hampton [4] defeats Nicole Gibbs 7-5 6-7(5) 6-3

Fourth-seed Jamie Hampton had her hands full overcoming her own “rust”, as well as the inspired play of Nicole Gibbs; who was making her professional debut at this tournament after a stellar career at Stanford.

Rust on Hampton’s part was understandable, since this was Hampton’s first match of the tournament after receiving a first round bye as one of the top 4 seeds. “I’ve been here for a week now and I haven’t played. And I’ve never done anything like that before.”

The lack of sharpness in Hampton’s game was less of an issue, however, than the dogged determination shown by Gibbs.

Hampton might hit a harder ball than Gibbs, but Gibbs showed no sign of intimidation as she moved her opponent from side-to-side to keep the ball out of Hampton’s wheel house, and to expose any footwork weaknesses.

The first set was tightly-contested until a loose game by Gibbs at 5-all gave Hampton the crucial break, and allowed her to serve it out at 7-5.

The second set, won by Gibbs in a tiebreak, was an equally tight affair; made more so because of Hampton’s mounting unforced error total as she mixed winners and unforced errors interchangeably throughout.

After the match, Hampton was asked specifically about her serving difficulties on the day when she offered this assessment of her overall play: “To be honest, I just felt like I was struggling in general today.”

In spite of the efforts of her Stanford football team cheering section, Gibbs game began to unravel. The third set saw Hampton draw upon her experience as pro to serve bigger and hit bigger on shots that finally started to find their mark. There was little Gibbs could do than just say “too good”.

Gibbs managed a brief comeback (after falling behind 0-4) to get back on serve at 3-4. But she couldn’t sustain the momentum, and gave up one final break for 3-5. Hampton quickly closed out the match for the win.

Gibbs was remarkably upbeat after the match, and happy with the fight she showed on court. “The biggest takeaway is that I can play at this level, and that’s really exciting for me!”

Madison runs for a forehand

Other Match Notes

Daniela Hantuchova lost two straight tiebreakers to hand Urszula Radwanska a 7-6(3) 7-6(3) victory, and her second straight appearance in the Bank of the West quarterfinals. This loss is sure to stick with Hantuchova for because of the seven straight points she lost in the second set tiebreaker after leading 3-0.

Vera Dushevina beat American Madison Keys in the evening match on stadium court. Keys was unable to get any aspect of her ground game on track during the match, and was also done in by Dushevina’s strong service returns.

Keys is widely touted as one of the top prospects for future US slam success. And while it’s true that she has an immense amount of talent, she also still has a long way to go in terms of developing a more complete game to compliment her strong serve and ground strokes.

Kevin Ware is covering the Bank of the West Classic as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow his live updates on twitter @TennisNewsTPN.  Follow his personal twitter @SFTennisFreak and site kevware.com/tennis/.

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All photography by David Sweet.

BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
Stanford, CA, USA
July 22-28, 2013
$795,707/Premier
Hard/Outdoors

Results – Thursday, July 25, 2013
Singles – Second Round
(3) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) d. Stefanie Voegele (SUI) 75 76(5)
(4) Jamie Hampton (USA) d. (WC) Nicole Gibbs (USA) 75 67(5) 63
(7) Urszula Radwanska (POL) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 76(3) 76(3)
(Q) Vera Dushevina (RUS) d. Madison Keys (USA) 76(0) 62

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Cako/Pluskota (USA/USA) 63 62
(2) Goerges/Jurak (GER/CRO) d. Grandin/Rosolska (RSA/POL) 06 62 105 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Friday, July 26, 2013
Stadium (from 12.00hrs)
1. Sorana Cirstea vs. Olga Govortsova
2. Urszula Radwanska vs. Dominika Cibulkova
3. Jamie Hampton vs. Vera Dushevina (NB 15.30hrs)
4. Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Varvara Lepchenko (NB 20.00hrs)
5. Hantuchova/Raymond vs. Muhammed/Will

Court 6 (NB 16.30hrs)
1. Govortsova/Kudryavtseva vs. Chan/Dushevina (after suitable rest)

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Bartoli Pulls Out of Stanford

MarionBartoli

(July 18, 2013) Three-time Stanford finalist and reigning Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has announced that she is withdrawing from the 2013 event due to a hamstring strain.

“During Wimbledon I developed a strain in my hamstring which has not healed over the past two weeks,” said Bartoli. “I have been receiving therapy and was optimistic that I would be able to participate in the Bank of the West Classic as it is one of my favorite tournaments on the circuit.  Unfortunately, the injury has not completely healed and I will be unable to participate.”

With the withdrawal former Stanford All-American Mallory Burdette automatically moves into the main draw. Burdette, who turned professional shortly after last year’s Bank of the West Classic, reached the third round of last year’s US Open and has risen quickly up the world rankings. She is currently No. 78.

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Maria Sharapova Withdraws From Stanford with Hip Injury

Maria Sharapova with media

(July 15, 2013) World No. 2 Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the 2013 Bank of the West Classic due to a left hip injury she suffered during Wimbledon.

 

“We are disappointed for our fans that Maria (Sharapova) won’t be able to attend this year’s Bank of the West Classic but unfortunately injuries are a part of the sport and we understand that a player’s health must always come first,” said Bank of the West Classic Tournament Director Kim Hall. “We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she is able to return to the court soon.”

 

Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium has also withdrawn.

 

With the withdrawals former World No. 4 Daniela Hantuchova and up-and-coming American Christina McHale receive main draw entries.

 

The tournament has granted a main draw wildcard to former Stanford All-American Mallory Burdette. Burdette, who turned professional shortly after last year’s Bank of the West Classic, reached the third round of last year’s US Open and has risen quickly up the world rankings. She is currently No. 78.

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Nadal Returns to Hardcourt with Indian Wells Win; Still Unhappy with 25-Second Rule

 

Rafael Nadal

(March 9, 2013) No. 5 Rafael Nadal returned to the hardcourt for first time in almost a year by defeating American Ryan Harrison 7-6 (3), 6-2 in the  second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Saturday.

The Spaniard had been off the tour with a left knee injury for seven months and last played on a hardcourt in Miami in late match 2012. He returned to the tennis tour last month on the clay court ”Golden Swing” in Latin America where he went 12-1 with two titles.

Nadal stormed off to a 4-1 lead against Harrison. The 20-year-old American came back to even the set, which Nadal took in a tiebreak.

 

After the match Nadal was happy with his play.

 

“Well, I am satisfied to be in the next round,” Nadal said.  “That’s the most important thing.  I am satisfied to be here playing at Indian Wells.  Two weeks ago, two weeks before, I didn’t really know if I would be here playing.

I am happy to be here.  I am happy to be in the third round.  Good victory for me today against a good opponent.”

 

“My physical performance needs to improve,” Nadal added.  “My movements need to improve.  Matches like this help me, for sure, no?

“Today more than any result, any victory is important for me because that gives me the chance to play another day.  That’s what I need, play matches.  I need to compete.  I really, you know, want to compete, and I need.

“So that’s the only way to win matches without playing fantastic.  That’s the only way to play very well in a short period of time.”

 

Nadal was questioned about the new 25 rule which forces players to speed up their actions in-between points. Nadal is still not pleased with the new rule.

 

“I played much faster, no?, he said.  “And I am doing because somebody very smart puts a new rule that is a disaster, in my opinion.  Not in places like here that is dry, you know, not very humid place, but is completely disaster when we are playing in tournaments like Acapulco, Brazil, or Chile.”

 

“Sorry,” Nadal continued.  “I cannot support that, because for so many facts in my opinion the rule is wrong.  First thing, because the rules go against the great points of tennis.

“Because if you see the highlights of the end of the season, I didn’t see not one highlight, the best points of the season, I did not see not one ace.

“The best points of the season are long rallies and amazing points.  With this 25 seconds, you play a long rally and you think you can play another long rally next point?  No.  So go against the good tennis.

“So the guy who really accepted this rule was not very smart, in my opinion.  Even if you don’t have time for the TV to repeat a good point, and then the referee, I don’t know what he’s doing on his chair.  We can play without referee 100%.  The lines on every line, Hawk‑Eye, now 25 seconds.  He don’t have to analyze nothing.  He just have to put the clock and that’s it.  Then we can play.  Put the clock on court and play without umpire, because it’s not necessary anymore because the umpire is not enough good to analyze if the match is being hard, if somebody is losing time, penalize him with a warning.

“If both players are going the same way because you are playing a great point and you need to rest 40 seconds after the point, we don’t need anymore umpire.  That’s my feeling.  You know what I did?  Maybe somebody ‑‑ maybe nobody did at the ATP, but I went back to my matches, great matches, in Grand Slams, playing long rallies in big tournaments, and when you play like a 30 points, you know, 30‑shots rally, 40‑shots rally like final of Roland Garros, like final of Australia, like final of any good tournament, you know, how much time we rested?

“You have to see the third set of the US Open 2011 against Djokovic, and you tell me if the crowd was very happy about what happened in that set or not, and tell me if with this new rule that can happen again.  Please.”

Nadal will play Leonardo Mayer in the third round.

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