Widgets Magazine

Nicole Gibbs upsets Caroline Garcia to advance in Bank of the West Classic

For Nicole Gibbs, a victory on the courts of Taube Family Tennis Stadium was nothing out of the ordinary.

Aided by cheers from her strong fan base, the former Stanford Cardinal defeated No. 30-ranked Caroline Garcia of France by a score of 6-4, 7-5 in the first round of the Bank of the West Classic.

Nicole Gibbs ’14 defeated Caroline Garcia by a score of 6-4, 7-5 to advance to the second round in the Bank of the West Classic. After securing a spot via the qualifying draw, the two-time NCAA singles champion won her third straight match of the tournament. (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

A two-time NCAA singles champion, Gibbs is no stranger to having the crowd at Taube on her side. She posted a career 111-15 record from 2010-13 as a member of the Cardinal, highlighted by her historic year in 2012, in which she became the third player in NCAA history to capture the singles and doubles titles in the same year.

Gibbs got off to a very fast start, breaking Garcia twice en route to a 3-0 lead in the first set. She held off a small resurgence to confidently capture the first set.

The second set provided a little more intrigue. Garcia came out with much more intensity, establishing control early on and making Gibbs work for her points. The turning point in the second set came when Garcia, up 5-3, was unable to shut the door and capture the set. Punctuated by a series of magnificent returns, Gibbs stormed back to bring herself within one game and drew roars from the crowd.

While the breaks may have been more memorable, Gibbs’ victory was more a result of fundamental consistency. She got the job done when she needed to, converting 78 percent of her first service points in comparison to Garcia’s 61 percent. She frequently jumped ahead 30-0 and 40-0 and was ultimately too much for Garcia to overcome.

“I was generally just trying to care of my service games,” Gibbs said after the match. “For the most part, I think that’s the reason why I won the match today.”

The win is the latest episode in what has been a fantastic showing for Gibbs. She previously defeated fellow Cardinal Taylor Davidson 6-0, 6-2, and Anna Tatishvili 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 in order to secure a spot in the main draw.

“This is an unbelievable feeling, to come here and win three in a row,” Gibbs said after delivering a heartfelt thank you to the home crowd.

From here, Gibbs will play the winner of the all-Ukraine matchup between No. 20 Elina Svitolina and Kateryna Bondarenko for a chance to advance to the quarterfinals.

For more photos from the Bank of the West Classic, please check the photo gallery.

Contact Sandip Srinivas at sandips ‘at’ stanford.edu.

About Sandip Srinivas

Sandip Srinivas '18 is the Football Editor, a sports desk editor and a beat writer for men's basketball and football at The Stanford Daily. Sandip is a sophomore from Belmont, California that roots for the San Francisco Giants during even years and roots for Steph Curry year-round. He is majoring in Symbolic Systems and can be contacted via email at sandips 'at' stanford.edu.