Monday, March 28, 2016

Ex-Stanford star Gibbs routed on big stage

Nicole Gibbs, serving in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian
Wells last week, lost to fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza
6-1, 6-0 on Sunday in Miami. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs had been working for this her whole life.
   The 23-year-old former Stanford All-American was playing on the Stadium Court in the featured night match in a big tournament against a Wimbledon finalist.
   Unfortunately for Gibbs, fourth-seeded Garbine Muguruza of Spain crushed the wild card 6-1, 6-0 in 55 minutes on Sunday in the third round of the Miami Open.
   "Every athlete's dream to play on center under the lights," Gibbs tweeted. "Every athlete's nightmare for that to be the outcome. But (emoji) happens."
   The 22-year-old Muguruza, who lost to Serena Williams in last year's Wimbledon final, won 85 percent of the points on her first serve (18 of 21) against Gibbs and saved the only break point she faced.
   Gibbs had extended two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to 6-4 in the third set in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last week as a qualifier.
   At 6 feet (1.82 meters), Muguruza and Kvitova are six inches (15.2 centimeters) taller than Gibbs.
   Gibbs, who lost in the first round of qualifying in Miami last year, will have to be content with $36,170 in prize money and 65 ranking points.
   Combined with the $67,590 she pocketed in Indian Wells, Gibbs earned more than $100,000 in the two tournaments.
   Gibbs also will improve her career-high ranking from No. 74 to about No. 70 when the new rankings are released next Monday. She began this year at No. 119.

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