STANFORD, Calif.- Stanford senior Kristie Ahn’s qualifying run came to an end on Sunday afternoon at the Bank of the West Classic, falling 6-1, 6-3 to No. 5 seed Vera Dushevina of Russia.
Ahn, a three-time All-American and one of three Cardinal players in the qualifying draw, was coming off a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory over fellow American Abigail Spears yesterday in the first round of qualifying.
A native of Upper Saddle River, N.J., Ahn is coming off an impressive junior season in which she compiled a 30-7 overall record and provided the clinching point in Stanford’s 4-3 victory over Texas A&M to secure the Cardinal’s 18th national championship (17 NCAA, 1 AIAW).
Meanwhile, Monday’s start of main draw action will have a definite Stanford feel as former Cardinal standouts Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs will both play their first-round matches inside Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Burdette, who earned a main draw spot due to her top-80 WTA ranking, will square off against 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy in the third scheduled match of the day session (will not start before 1 p.m.).
Burdette, who turned pro last fall and decided to forego her senior year, will be making her second straight appearance at the Bank of the West Classic. A three-time All-American, Burdette posted a 104-22 overall record (60-8 in dual play) in three seasons at Stanford and helped lead the Cardinal to the 2010 NCAA title. Burdette’s pro career is off to a fast start, ranked No. 78 in the world while capturing a pair of titles last summer (Evansville Hospital Tennis Classic, Vancouver Open).
Gibbs will take the court in the second match of the night session (approximately 8:30 p.m.), which begins at 7 p.m. Gibbs, who was awarded a wild card into the main draw, will face Kiki Bertens of The Netherlands.
An All-American in singles during each of her three seasons, Gibbs collected her fourth career singles title when she became the NCAA's first repeat champion back in May. The first player to capture NCAA team and singles titles in the same year since Duke's Mallory Cecil in 2009, Gibbs wrapped up her career with a 111-15 overall record (65-6 in dual play). After winning this year’s NCAA title, Gibbs decided to forego her senior season and turn pro. The decision has already paid off, with Gibbs capturing the Yakima Regional Challenger Title ($50K ITF) last week.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $795,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST: Founded in 1874, $62 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.
ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.