Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gibbs loses in second round of Aussie Open again

Ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, playing in the 2014
Sacramento Challenger, fell to 28th-seeded Kristina
Mladenovic of France 6-1, 7-6 (4) today in the second
round of the Australian Open. Photo by Rob Vomund
   Give Nicole Gibbs credit for consistency.
   For the second straight year, the 22-year-old former Stanford All-American lost to a low seed in the second round of the Australian Open.
   Gibbs, a 106th-ranked qualifier living in Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area, fell to No. 28 Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-1, 7-6 (4) today in Melbourne.
   The 6-foot (1.84-meter) Mladenovic, also 22, won the last five points of the tiebreaker against the 5-foot-6 (1.68-meter) Gibbs.
   Gibbs, a direct entrant in last year's Australian Open with a ranking of No. 96, lost to No. 26 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 7-6 (3), 7-6 (6) in the second round.
   The 30th-ranked Mladenovic, who beat 2014 Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in the first round, will face Australia's Daria Gavrilova, who surprised sixth seed and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-4.
   Mladenovic reached the U.S. Open singles quarterfinals last September and the 2014 Wimbledon doubles final with Timea Babos of Hungary. Mladenovic also won mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon in 2013 and the Australian Open in 2014, both with ageless Daniel Nestor of Canada.
   Gibbs, the NCAA singles champion in 2012 and 2013, advanced to the third round of singles in the 2014 U.S. Open.
   In another Australian Open second-round match, top-seeded Serena Williams dominated Hsieh Su-Wei of Taiwan 6-1, 6-2. Williams has won the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford three times (2011, 2012 and 2014). Hsieh captured the 2013 Wimbledon women's doubles title with Peng Shuai of China.
   On the men's side, Americans Austin Krajicek and Denis Kudla -- the runners-up in the Aptos and Tiburon Challengers, respectively, last year -- lost to seeds in the second round.
   Krajicek, 25, fell to No. 7 Kei Nishikori, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3. The roomed together as juniors at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
   Kudla, 23, bowed out to No. 28 Andreas Seppi of Italy 7-5, 6-4, 6-4. Kudla was the only U.S. man to reach the second week of Wimbledon last year, falling to 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia in the fourth round. Seppi stunned Roger Federer in the third round of last year's Australian Open before losing to rising star Nick Kyrgios of Australia in the next round.
   Americans Steve Johnson, the 2012 Aptos singles champion, and Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native, defeated Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic and Igor Zelenay of Slovakia 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the opening round of men's doubles.
   Johnson and Querrey advanced to the U.S. Open semifinals last September, ousting top seeds and defending champions Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in the first round.

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