Five current and former members of the NCAA Champion Stanford women’s tennis squad were named to the playing field at the Bank of the West Classic, which kicked off on Monday at Taube Tennis Center.
Rising senior Kristie Ahn, rising sophomore Krista Hardebeck and the recently graduated Stacey Tan were all awarded wild cards to Monday’s qualifying tournament. None of them, however, qualified for the main draw of the tournament, as Hardebeck fell to world No. 237 Slovenian Petra Rampre and Tan lost to No. 223 Sachie Ishizu of Japan in their first-round matches.
Ahn fared slightly better, as she defeated American Abigail Spears in three sets in the first round before being eliminated in the next round by No. 154 Vera Dushevina of Russia.
Two players who cut their Stanford careers short to turn pro — Mallory Burdette, who is now ranked No. 76 in the world, and No. 191 Nicole Gibbs — received wild cards into the main draw of the tournament. Burdette, faced with a tough first-round match against 2010 French Open Champion No. 59 Francesca Schiavone, took a 4-2 lead in the first set and a 3-2 lead in the second set before yielding to fierce comebacks from the Italian both times, ultimately losing 7-5, 6-3.
Gibbs also received a tough first-round draw in No. 67 Kiki Bertens, the highest-ranked Dutch player in the world. However, the three-time All-American — playing at her home stadium — rallied back from a 4-3 deficit in the first set to take it 6-4 and never looked back, cruising to a 6-1 victory in the second set and setting herself up for a second-round date with No. 29 Jamie Hampton.
Gibbs and Burdette were also named to the main doubles draw of the tournament. Gibbs and partner Coco Vandeweghe dropped their first-round match to another pair of Americans, Asia Muhammed and Allie Will. Burdette and her partner, No. 32 Sorana Cirstea of Romania, are scheduled to play their first match as a duo on Wednesday evening.