Tale Of The Tape: Nicole Gibbs vs. Serena Williams
Gibbs faces Williams on Wednesday afternoon at Bank of the West Classic
July 10, 2012
STANFORD, Calif.- What would happen if sophomore guard Chasson Randle challenged LeBron James to a pick-up game inside Maples Pavilion? Or if sophomore Patrick Rodgers played a round of golf against Tiger Woods at the Stanford Golf Course?
Okay, so the matchups are relative to the sport. But on Wednesday afternoon, junior Nicole Gibbs will get the unique opportunity to square off against one of the world's best athletes in her sport. On her home court.
Following Tuesday's opening-round 6-4, 6-4 victory over qualifier Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, Gibbs has now earned the right to face 14-time major champion Serena Williams in Wednesday's afternoon session of the 2012 Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium. The exact match time is TBA, but it will not start before 3 p.m.
Here's a quick breakdown of the competitors. Keep in mind that Nicole, at age 12, was a ball kid during a match that featured Serena Williams. She has also served as a hitting partner for Venus Williams. TALE OF THE TAPE: NICOLE vs. SERENA
Gibbs and Williams are matched up simply by the luck of the draw. As the tournament's No. 1 seed and defending champion, Williams was slotted for a first-round bye and Wednesday opener. The next two tiles selected by WTA officials represented corresponding seed lines for Gibbs and Lertcheewakarn.
Gibbs then took care of business on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Lertcheewakarn in straight sets. Tied at 4-4 in the first set, Gibbs won back-to-back games to claim the first set. Trailing 3-2 in the second set, Gibbs battled back to take leads of 4-3 and 5-4 and clinched the match when Lertcheewakarn committed a double fault.
A three-time All-American, Gibbs is coming off one of the best seasons in school history, becoming only the third player in NCAA history to capture both the NCAA singles and doubles titles in the same season. Stanford's first NCAA singles champion since Amber Liu in 2004, Gibbs was also named the 2012 Honda Sports Award recipient and ITA National Player of the Year. In just two seasons, Gibbs has produced an 87-11 overall record and 48-2 mark in dual match play.
- by Brian Risso. Special thanks to Kevin Fischer.