Sunday, April 10, 2016

Gibbs receives WTA honor; Bryans end title drought

Former Stanford All-American Nicole Gibbs,
playing in Indian Wells recently, was voted
the WTA Breakthrough Performer of the
Month for March. Photo by Paul Bauman
   It was a good week for former Stanford All-Americans.
   The WTA announced on Friday that fans had voted Nicole Gibbs as the Breakthrough Performer of the Month for March, and Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan won their sixth Houston title on Saturday. 
   Gibbs, who turned 23 on March 3, reached the quarterfinals in Monterrey as a qualifier, the fourth round in Indian Wells as a qualifier and the third round in Miami to improve to a career-high No. 71 in the rankings.
   Gibbs upset two top-30 players during March, No. 24 Madison Keys in Indian Wells and No. 29 Kristina Mladenovic in Miami.
   Gibbs also pushed No. 9 Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, to 6-4 in the third set in Indian Wells but was drubbed by No. 4 Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-0 in Miami.
   The top-seeded Bryan twins, who will turn 38 on April 29, edged unseeded Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico 4-6, 6-3 [10-8] in the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championship.
   "It was a battle from the first point to the last, but we feel like we played our best tennis down the stretch," Bob Bryan said on "It's nice to pull out some close wins after losing a few tight matches to start the season. We're looking forward to building momentum through the clay-court season."
   The Bryans ended their title drought at 12 tournaments since winning Montreal last August, made Houston the third tournament they have won at least six times (along with the Australian Open and now-defunct Los Angeles) and captured their 110th title overall.
   "It feels great to get over the hump and win number 110 after a bit of a drought," Mike Bryan said. "There's no better place to do it than in Houston, where we've enjoyed so much success and had unbelievable fan support. Thanks to the River Oaks Country Club and its members for another fantastic tournament."
   Easter Bowl in Indian Wells -- Elysia Bolton of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., and Chiara Lommer of Skokie, Ill., beat Michaela Gordon of Saratoga and Ena Shibahara of Rancho Palos Verdes 6-1, 5-7 [10-6] in the girls 18 doubles semifinals. Both teams were unseeded.

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