Monday, July 4, 2016

Gibbs heads 50K Stockton acceptance list

Qualifier Nicole Gibbs, an ex-Stanford star, prepares to slug a forehand
in her 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 loss to eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova in the round of
16 in Indian Wells in March. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs, who won two NCAA titles in singles and one in doubles while at Stanford, heads the acceptance list for the second annual $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger in Stockton next week.
   Gibbs, a 23-year-old resident of Marina del Rey in the Los Angeles area, is ranked No. 76 in the world. As a qualifier, she reached the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," in Indian Wells in March.
   Stockton entries also include:
   --Kristyna Pliskova, who set a WTA tour record with 31 aces in a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 9-7 loss to Monica Puig in the second round of the Australian Open in January.
   Pliskova, ranked No. 107, is the 24-year-old twin sister of Karolina Pliskova, ranked No. 17 after reaching a career-high No. 7 last Aug. 17.
   --Alison Van Uytvanck, a French Open quarterfinalist last year.
   --Mayo Hibi, who won the 2013 Sacramento Challenger at 17.
   --Kristie Ahn, who played on Stanford's 2013 NCAA championship team with Gibbs.
   --CiCi Bellis, a 17-year-old amateur who lives minutes from Stanford in Atherton. Bellis made international headlines at 15 in the 2014 U.S. Open with her first-round upset of No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova, the Australian Open runner-up to Li Na earlier that year. Bellis finished the year as the No. 1 junior in the world.
   --Michelle Larcher de Brito, who reached the third round at Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2013 (beating Maria Sharapova) and 2014. She helped the now-defunct Sacramento Capitals win the World TeamTennis title in 2007 at 14.
   --Melanie Oudin, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist in 2009 and mixed doubles champion in 2011 with Jack Sock.
   Four wild cards for the Stockton Challenger will be announced later.
   Reigning champion Nao Hibino of Japan is ranked No. 70, allowing her to play full-time on the WTA tour.
   Qualifying for the Stockton Challenger begins Sunday at 10 a.m. at the new Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center at the University of the Pacific. The main draw is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12, at 10 a.m. through Sunday, July 17.
   The fifth annual $50,000 Sacramento Women's Challenger will be held the following week at the Gold River Racquet Club.
Acceptance list (subject to change)
1. Nicole Gibbs, United States, No. 76 world ranking.
2. Kristyna Pliskova, Czech Republic, No. 106.  
3. Aleksandra Wozniak, Canada, No. 108.
4. Alison Van Uytvanck, Belgium, No. 132.
5. Urszula Radwanska, Poland, No. 151.
6. Grace Min, United States, No. 153.
7. Taylor Townsend, United States, No. 155.
8. Lin Zhu, China, No. 163.
9. Mayo Hibi, Japan, No. 166.
10. Sachia Vickery, United States, No. 180.
11. Robin Anderson, United States, No. 186.
12. Asia Muhammad, United States, No. 197.
13. Anastasia Pivovarova, Russia, No. 198.
14. Zhaoxuan Yang, China, No. 203.
15. Sabina Sharipova, Uzbekistan, No. 217.
16. Kristie Ahn, United States, No. 224.
17. Arina Rodionova, Australia, No. 246.
18. CiCi Bellis, United States, No. 250.
19. Riko Sawayanagi, Japan, No. 254.
20. Victoria Kan, Russia, No. 256.
21. Jamie Loeb, United States, No. 257.
22. Michelle Larcher de Brito, United States, No. 262.
23. Storm Sanders, Australia, No. 264.
24. Melanie Oudin, United States, No. 268.

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