After two days of qualifying action inside the Taube Family Tennis Center, it was finally time for the main draw action at the 2015 Bank of the West Classic to get underway!
The day started with plenty of local talent for the fans to enjoy as Catherine “CiCi” Bellis was the first player to kick off action on center court against Misaki Doi. Sixteen-year-old Bellis has been in the spotlight of tennis experts ever since beating Dominika Cibulkova at the US Open last year, with many experts expecting great things from the young talent that’s currently on the verge of going fully professional.
Born in San Francisco and living in Atherthon, just a stone’s throw away from the Stanford campus, the local girl unsurprisingly had the crowd behind her as she fought the Japanese qualifier. Unfortunately, Doi proved be too much to handle for the promising youngster, sending Bellis off to her nearby home and continuing her impressive run that started all the way in qualifying.
The next local favorite fared much better, as Nicole Gibbs delighted the fans with a stunning three-set win over Caroline Garcia. The young Frenchwoman was so frustrated with her loss that she went straight to the next practice court for an extended hitting session despite having just played a three-set match.
In the afternoon, it was time for the all-German duel between Carina Witthöft & Andrea Petkovic. It looked like an upset was shaping up when Witthöft took the first set of the experienced former Top 10 player, however, Petkovic rallied back into the match though to start her American hardcourt season with a hard-fought win.
Afterwards, the eloquent German told the media how talking regularly to both Steffi Graf & Boris Becker will hopefully help her to improve her mental game in the weeks to come.
The evening session was all about the highest-ranked American in the draw as Madison Keys carries the local hopes following Serena William’s withdrawal before the tournament. Keys handled the expectations set into her very much in style, leaving Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic no more than three games on her way into the tournament’s next round.
The first round of the 2015 Bank of the West Classic will continue on Tuesday with the first matches of Sabine Lisicki & Angelique Kerber, while top seeds Caroline Wozniacki & Agnieszka Radwanska are enjoying a bye and won’t be in action before later in the week.
Keep checking back for more from Stanford all week on Women’s Tennis Blog!