Friday, August 28, 2015

Ex-Stanford star Gibbs faces tough road in U.S. Open

Nicole Gibbs, playing in last year's Sacramento Chal-
lenger, could meet fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova in the
second round of the U.S. Open.
   Nicole Gibbs collected $103,442 for reaching the third round of last year's U.S. Open as a wild card.
   The former Stanford star will be hard-pressed to repeat that performance this year.
   The men's and women's singles draws for the U.S. Open were conducted on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The year's last Grand Slam tournament begins Monday.
   Gibbs, 22, likely will beat Lourdes Dominguez Lino, a 34-year-old Spaniard, in the first round. Gibbs is 1-0 against Dominguez Lino, having cruised 6-3, 6-3 in the second round of qualifying at New Haven, Conn., in 2012.
   Looming in the second round of the U.S. Open, however, is fifth-seeded Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion who drew a qualifier in the first round.
   Granted, the U.S. Open is Kvitova's worst Grand Slam tournament, and she revealed on Aug. 10 that she has been suffering from mononucleosis. But the 25-year-old left-hander defeated top-20 players Madison Keys and Agnieszka Radwanska back-to-back to reach today's semifinals at New Haven.
   It could be worse for Gibbs. She could have Jarmila Gajdosova's draw. Gajdosova, who starred for the Sacramento-based California Dream of World TeamTennis in July, will face 26th-seeded Flavia Pennetta of Italy in the first round.
   Pennetta, 33, leads the head-to-head series 2-1, but Gajdosova won the last meeting 6-1, 6-4 in the first round at Wuhan, China, last fall.      
   Gajdosova, ranked 75th to Pennetta's 26th, won't exactly enter the U.S. Open match full of confidence. She is 1-3 on the summer hardcourt circuit with no main-draw wins.
   On the men's side, San Francisco native Sam Querrey has a good chance to reach the third round, in which he could face sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.
   Querrey, ranked No. 38, will play No. 64 Nicolas Mahut of France for the first time in the opening round.
   Querrey, 27, has reached two finals this year, losing to countryman Jack Sock on clay in Houston in April and to Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan on grass in Nottingham in June.
   Mahut, 33, won the title on grass at s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, in June as a qualifier. He is best known for losing to John Isner 70-68 in the fifth set in the first round at Wimbledon in 2010 in the longest match in tennis history (11 hours, 5 minutes over three days). 
   The winner of the Querrey-Mahut match could play 31st-seeded Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain in the second round. It would be the second straight year Querrey and Garcia-Lopez have met at that stage of the U.S. Open. Querrey won 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in 2014 before losing to top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.        

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