By George Chen
Rising junior Nicole Gibbs and rising senior Mallory Burdette both advanced in the Bank of the West Classic tennis tournament by winning their first round matches at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Gibbs, the 2012 NCAA singles champion, defeated Noppawan Lertcheewakarn of Thailand 6-4, 6-4 yesterday morning. With the win, Gibbs will be squaring off against tennis legend Serena Williams today.
The No. 1 seed Williams is fresh off her fifth Wimbledon title this past Saturday. As the current No. 4 player in the world, Williams has collected a total of 29 Grand Slam titles, 14 of which come from singles.
Burdette, the 2012 NCAA singles runner-up, stormed back to upset Anne Keothavong of Great Britain 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. The victory means that Burdette will be playing against the No. 2 seed Marion Bartoli in the second round.
Bartoli, the current French No. 1, was ranked as high as seventh in the world in 2012. In addition to being the runner-up at 2007 Wimbledon, she has defeated three world No. 1 players in her career.
Gibbs and Burdette will also team up in doubles play tonight as they face the duo of Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova, who own the No. 3 seed for the doubles draw. The former Cardinal teammates won the 2012 NCAA doubles title in May.