In an all-American matchup of Round 3 action at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Nicole Gibbs faced off against compatriot Taylor Townsend in a contest between Oracle Challenger Series veterans. In what was expected to be a back-and-forth affair, Gibbs looked unstoppable on her way to a swift 6-1, 6-1 victory that took under an hour to play.
Gibbs started fast in the opening set, winning (5/5) 100% of her break points on her way to a 6-1 route to start the match. While Townsend looked to regroup, it was more of the same in the second frame. Gibbs continued to blitz Townsend with powerful serves and crisp winners down the baseline as she staved off two break points in the opening games. Those early break opportunities would prove to be the only glimmers of hope for Townsend, as she could not overcome Gibbs’ control of the match at any point. After another quick 6-1 route, Gibbs stamped her ticket to the quarterfinals.
It was a substandard performance from Townsend, who was looking to channel some of her recent success at the Oracle Challenger Series. She advanced to the quarterfinals in Newport Beach just last month, as well winning the doubles title last year in Indian Wells alongside partner Yanina Wickmayer. While she’ll surely be disappointed by her quick out this afternoon, she will still be competing in doubles with a chance to defend her title.
For Gibbs, the Oracle Challenger Series journey continues in the desert. Currently sitting in fourth place on the Road to Indian Wells leaderboard, her only chance of passing Lauren Davis and winning the second BNP Paribas Open wild card is by taking home the title in Indian Wells this week.
Next, she meets the winner of Alison Riske  vs. Jennifer Brady.