STANFORD, Calif. (www.mubadalasvc.com) – All three seeded players in action on Thursday survived scares but managed to punch their ticket to the quarterfinals, highlighting competition at the Bank of the West Classic.
Playing her first match of the tournament, No. 3 seed Dominika Cibulkova held off Stefanie Voegele 7-5, 7-6 (5). In both sets, Cibulkova owned leads of 5-2 before Voegele stormed back to tie the frame at 5-5. Cibulkova later closed out the tiebreaker by winning the final two points after a 5-5 deadlock.
No. 4 seed Jamie Hampton waited even longer to play her first tournament match, taking the court later in the day after also earning a first-round bye. Participating in her first tour event as a seeded player, Hampton outlasted wild card Nicole Gibbs 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-3 in a match that lasted just over two hours. The key for Hampton was fending off a late third-set rally from Gibbs, who was playing on the same court in which she compiled a 56-5 career record during her All-American career at Stanford.
The tournament’s No. 7 seed, Urszula Radwanska squeaked past Daniela Hantuchova 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3). In what was expected to be a tight battle between the 42nd-ranked Radwanska and the 46th-ranked Hantuchova, it was Radwanska erasing an early first-set deficit of 4-1 and then hanging on to capture the second-set tiebreaker.
Olga Dushevina continued her surprising tournament run, stunning Madison Keys 7-6 (0), 6-2 in the featured match of the evening session. Dushevina, who won three matches to emerge from the qualifying draw, has surrendered two games or fewer in three of her four main-draw sets.
In doubles action, the top-seeded duo of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears delivered a 6-3, 6-2 victory over the team of Jacqueline Cako and Natalie Pluskota in the nightcap.
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 $795,000. 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 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a full range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 600 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.
ABOUT IMG: IMG Worldwide is a global sports, entertainment and media business, with nearly 3,000 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging: IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil and India; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academies; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing. More information is available at www.imgworld.com.