STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – Five seeded players posted victories on Saturday afternoon in the opening round of qualifying competition at the 2015 Bank of the West Classic.
Among that group was No. 5 seed Nicole Gibbs, one of three players with Stanford ties competing on stadium court in a familiar setting at Taube Family Tennis Stadium. An All-American in singles during each of her three seasons at Stanford (2010-13) and two-time NCAA singles champion, Gibbs defeated Taylor Davidson 6-0, 6-2 in her attempt to reach the tournament’s main draw for the first time since 2013.
Gibbs, who elected to forego her senior season and turn pro, reached the third round of the 2014 US Open and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 84 back in February. That professional experience came in handy against Davidson, a rising junior at Stanford who earned All-America accolades this past season and has compiled 55 career victories while pairing with main draw wildcard entrant Carol Zhao as the 2015 Pac-12 Doubles Team of the Year.
Stanford’s third player in the qualifying draw, rising junior Caroline Doyle, dropped a 6-0, 6-0 decision to No. 2 seed Kateryna Bondarenko.
No. 1 Misaki Doi edged Yi-Fan Zu 6-3, 7-6 (3), joining No. 4 Anna Tatishvili and No. 6 Petra Martic as the other seeded players to advance on the tournament’s opening day.
The first match of the session resulted in one of two upsets, as Gabriela Dabrowski breezed past Sachia Vickery 6-2, 6-4. Meanwhile, 44-year old Kimiko Date-Krumm rallied past 17-year old and No. 7 seed Naomi Osaka 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-3.
The final round of qualifying is set for Sunday, getting underway at 10 a.m. Four qualifiers will advance to the main draw.
Tickets for the tournament’s opening round start at just $33 while ticket packages start at $205. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.mubadalasvc.com or call 866-WTA-TIXS (866-982-8497). Qualifying will be held Aug. 1-2 and is free to the public.
The Bank of the West Classic, a Premier WTA event, features a 28-player singles draw as well as a 16-team doubles draw. The event is owned and operated by IMG and serves as the opening women's event of the Emirates Airline US Open Series.
The list of past champions of the event reads like a Who's Who of women's tennis including Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT THE BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC: The Bank of the West Classic is the longest-running women-only professional tennis tournament in the world and is the first stop of the Emirates Airline US Open Series. Owned and operated by IMG, the WTA Premier event features a 28-player singles draw and a 16-team doubles draw with total prize money of $731,000. Held on Stanford University’s campus at Taube Family Tennis Stadium since 1997, former champions include: Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters.
ABOUT BANK OF THE WEST: Founded in 1874, $62.4 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.