Pro Circuit Round-up:
Gibbs lifts trophy in Naples
Arthur Kapetanakis | June 4, 2018
Top-seeded Nicole Gibbs scored the first title of her 2018 campaign Sunday, as the world No. 113 emerged from an all-American final four at the USTA Pro Circuit $25,000 event in Naples, Fla., at the Sanchez-Casal Academy. Gibbs (pictured above, left) defeated No. 3 seed Ashley Kratzer (above, right), 6-4, 6-4, in the final, while Allie Kiick and Robin Anderson both reached the semifinals.
After a second-round appearance at the Australian Open, Gibbs had been struggling in 2018, stringing together two consecutive wins just once, at a Challenger event in Newport Beach, Calif., back in January. She was the No. 8 seed in May's French Open qualifying tournament but fell in the second round on the Paris clay.
But last week, the 25-year-old dropped just one set in the tournament – to No. 5 Kiick in the semis – as she regained the sort of form that propelled her to a career-high WTA ranking of No. ADVERTISEMENT 68 in 2016.
The Cincinnati native has competed in the main draw of all four Grand Slams in her career, reaching the third round in Australia in 2017 and at the US Open in 2014. With the Naples victory, her ranking will edge closer to the WTA Top 100 and the automatic Slam qualification that comes with it. With the French Open currently in progress, the next rankings update will be released on June 11.
Kratzer, Gibbs’ 19-year-old final opponent, was contesting her third career ITF-level singles final, though she has yet to win a title. The California native also competed in the 2017 US Open after earning a main-draw wild card via her USTA National Girls’ Championships victory.
Unseeded Americans Ann Li and Hailey Baptiste reached the quarterfinals at the Naples event, making it six out of eight quarterfinalists for Team USA.
In doubles action, Katerina Stewart and Rasheeda McAdoo reached the final after taking out Kratzer and Quinn Gleason in the semis.
This week, the women's Pro Circuit moves to Bethany Beach, Del., for another $25,000 event, while the men's calendar remains blank until a pair of Futures events begin on June 11.
Notable results from American men on the ITF Pro Circuit include:
- Sekou Bangoura was a singles quarterfinalist at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Most, Czech Republic.
- Vasil Kirkov reached the singles final at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Jerba, Tunisia, where Hady Habib was a singles quarterfinalist and John-Paul Fruttero reached the doubles final.
- Nicholas Hu was a singles finalist at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Singapore, where Alec Adamson reached the quarters.
- Paul Oosterbaan reached the doubles final at the $15,000 ITF Futures event in Antalya, Turkey.