At Red Rock Country Club Nov. 4-11 In Summerlin

SUMMERLIN, Nev. (Nov. 7, 2018) – Patience was the key for Nicole Gibbs during her first-round win on Wednesday at the Red Rock Pro Open.

The former two-time NCAA singles champion from Stanford University, Gibbs rallied to beat qualifier and fellow former Pac-12 player Maria Sanchez (USC), 7-5, 6-0, at the USTA Pro Circuit women’s $80,000 tournament taking place at the Red Rock Country Club. Sanchez got off to a fast start as she broke Gibbs’ serve twice and led 5-2, before Gibbs reeled off 11 straight games to advance to the second round. 

“I was having trouble with the elevation because the ball does carry a little bit so I was having a tricky time finding the court in the first set,” said Gibbs, who also led the Cardinal to a 17th NCAA team title in 2013. “Credit to Maria who was really taking it to me. I think I kind of just waited around for my better tennis to show up and capitalized when it did.”

Gibbs, 25, holds six career USTA/ITF Pro Circuit singles titles and four doubles titles. Three years ago she made a run to the singles semifinals and won the doubles title at the Red Rock Pro Open. “I remember going through a really tricky first round here a couple of years ago and just not knowing where the court was. Early on I was just trying to get adjusted to the altitude so I just bore in mind that patience was going to be important and if I stuck around I was going to get through it.”

Gibbs said 2018 “hasn’t been my best year” and that she would love nothing more to finish the year strong with a tournament title in Las Vegas. “I’ve been as high as No. 70 in the world so to be around 140 now is not exactly where I want to be,” she said.

Gibbs next faces her former junior rival Grace Min in the second round on Thursday. Min beat last year’s Red Rock Pro Open singles champion Sesil Karatantcheva, 7-6 (4), 6-4. It was the second consecutive day a former Las Vegas Pro Open singles champion lost in the first round as Varvara Lepchenko lost on Tuesday. Gibbs and Min have split the four matches they’ve played on the pro level with Gibbs winning twice on hard courts and Min twice on her favorite surface clay.

Las Vegas’ Asia Muhammad had a tough day as she fell to qualifier Hanna Chang 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. Muhammad and Sanchez are still alive in the doubles as the No. 2 seeded team will play in the quarterfinals Thursday.

No. 2 seeded Heather Watson of Great Britain got off to a good start in Las Vegas as the former Wimbledon mixed doubles champion beat Ulrikke Eikeri of Norway, 6-3, 6-2.

Former Wimbledon Girls’ singles winner (2015) Sofya Zhuk, just 18 years old and from Russia, fell in her first round to qualifier Giuliana Olmos, 6-7 (4), 7-5, 7-5. It was the fourth straight win in four days for Olmos, the former USC standout who also came back from a set down to win her final round of qualifying on Tuesday.

Presenting Sponsor: Gaudin Porsche of Las Vegas; Premier Sponsors: Cox Media, Lotus Broadcasting, Sunshine Valley Pediatrics, WG Communications Group, Storage One, Sunrise Hospital, Char Luxury Real Estate, USTA Nevada, The D Las Vegas & SNH, UNLV School of Medicine and UMC of Southern Nevada; Primary Sponsors: Rachel’s Kitchen, Guild Mortgage, Inspiring Children Foundation, Energy Wise LED Solutions, Harris & Harris Injury Lawyers, Marquis Aurbach Coffing, and the Law Offices of Saggese & Associates.

For a complete list of Red Rock Pro Open past singles champions, take a trip down Memory Lane HERE.

Tickets start at just $5 during the week, $10 for the quarterfinals on Friday, $15 on Saturday for the singles semifinals, and $20 on Sunday for the singles and doubles final.

Follow along on Twitter @RedRockTennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/redrockproopen.

About the USTA Pro Circuit

With more than 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $15,000 to $125,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 39 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering more than $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Andy Murray, Maria SharapovaJohn IsnerSloane StephensKei NishikoriVictoria Azarenka, and Sam Querrey and are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. Follow the USTA Pro Circuit at #USTAProCircuit and www.procircuit.usta.com.

About Red Rock Country Club

Red Rock Country Club is nestled beneath a towering red mountain, caressed by cool mountain breezes and offering luxurious amenities in a private haven. The club provides the perfect escape in one of the most breathtaking natural settings in Las Vegas. There are two Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Courses, and another sister course called Siena, designed by master architects Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt. The main clubhouse is the social hub of the club, a 44,000-square-foot area that features the Oasis Grille with an outdoor terrace and spectacular views of the Arnold Palmer courses. The majestic Red Rock Mountains and the lights of the Las Vegas Strip are visible, as well. Private rooms are available for social events, weddings and banquets as well as a stately Board Room with private garden patio for entertaining and private meetings. The tennis complex consists of nine lighted, hard surface tennis courts including an impressive stadium court for competition. The Red Rock Spa offers an array of services designed to make you feel pampered. Members can relax and unwind with a full menu of treatments including massages, facials, body wraps and scrubs, waxing and, our ever popular manicure and pedicure services. Red Rock also offers an athletic center, three swimming pools and spa services. 

Tournament Director:                                      Mike Copenhaver, mcopenhaver@redrockcc.com

Tournament Press Contact:                            Steve Pratt, 310.408.4555, stevep@bzapr.com