Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gibbs to face top seed in Carlsbad final

No. 5 seed Nicole Gibbs, above, will play No. 1 Yanina
Wickmayer in the final of the $125,000 Carlsbad Classic.
2014 photo by Rob Vomund
   No. 5 seed Nicole Gibbs of Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area beat unseeded Jennifer Brady of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-0, 6-4 on Saturday to reach the final of the $125,000 Carlsbad Classic in the San Diego region.
   Brady was broken six times and Gibbs twice in the 68-minute match.
   Brady, a 20-year-old ex-UCLA star, won only 43 percent of the points on her first serve (17 of 40). Neither player had an ace.
   The 22-year-old Gibbs, who won two NCAA singles titles at Stanford, will face No. 1 seed Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium for the first time in today's 1 p.m. (PST) final. Wickmayer, 26, downed unseeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4, 6-2.
   The 6-foot (1.82-meter) Wickmayer is six inches (15.2 centimeters) taller than Gibbs. Wickmayer is ranked 49th and Gibbs 122nd.
   Wickmayer won her fourth career WTA title and first in five years in Tokyo in September, but the highest-ranked player she beat was No. 61 Ajla Tomljanovic of Croatia in the semifinals.
   Wickmayer reached the semifinals of the 2009 U.S. Open and a career-high No. 12 the following year. She advanced to the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford in 2012, lost in the first round the next two years and did not return this year.
   Gibbs, who gained the third round of last year's U.S. Open, will be playing in her third final in her past five tournaments. She was the runner-up in $50,000 Challengers in Kirkland, Wash., in October and Waco, Texas, in November.

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