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Las Vegas Favorite Nicole Gibbs Expected To Be Top-Seeded At Red Rock Pro Open

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A little more than a week after taking the WTA World Tour No. 1 ranked player to three sets at the US Open, Nicole Gibbs will hit the Red Rock Country Club courts competing as the top-seeded player in the ninth annual Red Rock Pro Open Sept. 10-17.

A Las Vegas fan-favorite just two years ago when she advanced to the Red Rock Pro Open semifinals, Gibbsy – as she’s affectionately known on Tour – fell to No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova, 6-3 in the third set, on Thursday in the second round of the year’s final Grand Slam.

Gibbs has had a tough year battling through injuries, but she came alive at the Open, winning three qualifying matches and a first-round win over another Las Vegas alum, Verónica Cepede Royg.

Currently ranked No. 127 in the world, Gibbs reached a career-high No. 68 just last summer. The Southern Californian missed a large portion of the season to rehab a leg injury and lost seven straight matches between the Australian Open and the French Open. On the season, she has won just three main-draw WTA matches.

The 24-year-old originally from Ohio has won three USTA Pro Circuit $50,000-level Challengers, and one $25,000 and $10,000 Futures tournaments. She had a two-year stop at Stanford University where she won the NCAA singles title in 2012.

“Our field of players is once again jam-packed with some young rising American players,” Tournament Director Mike Copenhaver said. “Nicole Gibbs is one of those players and we look forward to hosting all the women’s players in what is turning out to be our biggest and best year yet.”

Once again, the field has a mix of both American and international players. Coming in behind Gibbs on the entry list is Italy’s Jasmine Paolini (No. 132), Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu (No. 133), Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova (No. 135) and Hungary’s Dalma Galfi (No. 143). American’s Louisa Chirico will return to Las Vegas and play in the main draw, as will Sachia Vickery of Florida. Vickery has played Las Vegas the past several years and, like Gibbs, she qualified for the US Open, won a round and then fell in the second round in a third-set tiebreaker to last year’s Las Vegas finalist Sonya Kenin.

A Wild Card Tournament will be contested this weekend at Lorenzi Racquet Club with local players getting a chance play for two spots in the qualifying draw, which takes place at Red Rock Country Club starting Sunday, Sept. 10.

In qualifying, watch for US Open qualifier Allie Kiick, whose father is former Miami Dolphins star Jim Kiick. Others to watch include US Open main draw players and American teenagers Claire Liu and Ashley Kratzer. Kratzer won the USTA Junior Nationals to receive a wild card into the US Open, and Liu did the same in doubles.

This year’s Red Rock Pro Open players will play for $60,000 in total prize money during the week-long USTA Women’s Pro Circuit tournament.