URBANA, Ill.- Nicole Gibbs successfully opened defense of her singles crown on Tuesday afternoon, defeating Yang Pang of Arkansas 7-5, 6-4 in the opening round of the NCAA Singles Championship.
Gibbs is bidding to become Stanford's first repeat champion since Amber Liu in 2003-04.
"I'm definitely not feeling 100 percent yet," said Gibbs. "I was talking to (head coach) Lele (Forood) on the changeovers, and I'm just waiting for that second wind to kick in for this tournament. Yesterday and really the entire week have been incredibly emotional, and bouncing back from that has been a challenge, but it's one I'm up for."
Krista Hardebeck also advanced to the second round, outlasting Auburn's Pleun Burgmans 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Much like her victories over Georgia and Florida in the team competition, Hardebeck dropped her first set before rallying for the win.
Meanwhile, Kristie Ahn was knocked out of the tournament by Kansas State's Petra Niedermayerova 6-2, 6-1.
Thursday signals the start of doubles play, with Stanford fielding teams of Ahn/Gibbs and Stacey Tan/Ellen Tsay.
No. 13 Nicole Gibbs
First Round: d. No. 47 Yang Pang (Arkansas) 7-5, 6-4
No. 14 Krista Hardebeck
First Round: d. No. 22 Pleun Burgmans (Auburn) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 25 Kristie Ahn
First Round: lost to No. 15 Petra Niedermayerova (Kansas State) 6-2, 6-1