STANFORD, Calif. - Day one of the main draw at the 2016 Bank of the West Classic was punctuated by a three-set duel between former Stanford Cardinal number ones, with Nicole Gibbs defeating Carol Zhao 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 under the lights at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
Gibbs seized the upper hand early, winning the first set 6-2. Zhao responded with two early breaks in the second set, eventually stretching her lead to 5-2. Gibbs then broke Zhao, before Zhao closed out the second set, 6-4.
Zhao and Gibbs traded breaks to start the third before Gibbs shut the door with another break, holding serve to win the set 6-3.
Gibbs advances to face No. 4 seed CoCo Vandeweghe at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Saisai Zheng won the first match of the main draw, defeating wildcard Maria Mateas 7-5, 6-1 on stadium court. Zheng will face Alize Cornet, the seventh-seeded player in the main draw. After dropping the first set to American Jennifer Brady, Cornet won the next two sets to complete a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback.
In a matchup of two weekend qualifiers, Ana Bogdan defeated Asia Muhammad 6-4, 5-7, 6-3, while Nao Hibino defeated Veronica Cepede Royg 7-5, 4-6, 6-4.
In the doubles draw, Darija Jurak and Anastasia Rodionova advance in straight sets, defeating Julia Boserup and Elitsa Kostova 6-2, 6-2.
Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Kveta Peschke, the fourth seeds in the doubles draw, also advanced after defeating Veronica Cepede-Royg and Maria Irigoyen 6-4, 3-6, 11-9.
The Ukrainian doubles team of Kateryna Bondarenko and Olda Savchuk won the final doubles match of the day on the outer court, defeating CiCi Bellis and Brady 6-2, 6-3.
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.
Tickets for the Bank of the West Classic are on sale now with individual session tickets starting at just $34.
The Bank of the West Classic also provides fans with multiple money-saving ticket packages that start as low as $192 for Night Session Packages, $265 for Weekend Packages and $620 for Full Week Packages. Groups of 15 or more can also receive discounts of up to 20%.
Log on to www.mubadalasvc.com for more information.
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 $846,000. 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: Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $77.2 billion in assets as of March 31, 2016. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 23 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.
ABOUT THE EMIRATES AIRLINE US OPEN SERIES: The world’s best players on the WTA and ATP World Tour are coming together for the Emirates Airline US Open Series, now in its 13th season. Linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open, the Emirates Airline US Open Series serves as a true regular season of hard court tennis. In 2014, Serena Williams won the US Open and Emirates Airline US Open Series women’s title for the second consecutive year, earning a record tennis paycheck of $4 million. Rafael Nadal (2013), Roger Federer (2007) and Kim Clijsters (2005) also accomplished the feat of winning the Emirates Airline US Open Series and US Open singles title within the same year.