Monday, May 23, 2016

Gibbs, Querrey fall in first round of French Open

Heather Watson of Great Britain won all five
games in the resumption of a suspended match
to beat ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs in the
first round of the French Open. 2012 photo
by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs suffered an agonizing loss and Sam Querrey's Grand Slam struggles continued today in the French Open.
   Gibbs, a 23-year-old former Stanford All-American from Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area, lost all five games in the resumption of a suspended match and fell to Heather Watson of Great Britain 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 in Paris.
   The match between the doubles partners had been halted by rain on Sunday with Gibbs serving at 40-30. After 27 minutes today, it was over.
   "Obviously disappointed but looking forward to being on the same side of the net as this one later this week," Gibbs tweeted with a photo of her shaking hands with Watson after the loss.
   Watson, who laced 46 winners to Gibbs' 14, likely secured a spot on the British Olympic team with the victory. Gibbs, meanwhile, fell to 0-3 in the French Open, including a 2014 loss in qualifying.
   Watson, ranked No. 56, evened her career record against Gibbs, No. 72, at 1-1 and set up a match against 13th-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia. Kuznetsova, the 2009 champion, held off Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
   Watson twice came within two points of stunning Serena Williams in the third round at Wimbledon last year before falling 6-2, 4-6, 7-5. Watson led 3-0 (two service breaks) in the third set and served for the match at 5-4, but Williams rallied and went on win her sixth Wimbledon crown.
   Like Gibbs, the 24-year-old Watson has a Stanford connection. She teamed with Marina Erakovic of New Zealand to win the doubles title in the 2012 Bank of the West Classic on Gibbs' former home courts.
   Querrey, a 28-year-old San Francisco native living in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Monica, lost to U.S. wild card Bjorn Fratangelo, the 2011 French Open boys singles champion, 6-3, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3.
   The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey, ranked No. 37, has won one match in his last six Grand Slam tournaments since reaching the third round of the 2014 U.S. Open.
   Also, Querrey has lost in the first round of singles in seven of his 10 appearances in the French Open. He advanced to the third round in 2013 for his best result at Roland Garros.
   Fratangelo, who was named after Bjorn Borg, made his French Open main-draw debut at 22 with a career-high ranking of No. 103.
   Fratangelo is one of only three Americans in the Open era (since 1968) to win the French Open boys singles title, along with John McEnroe (1977) and Tommy Paul (2015).
   Fratangelo will play ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet of France. Gasquet dismissed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.

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