No pressure for NCAA Champions Nicole Gibbs and Mallory Burdette this morning. Just don’t look at the US Open website, where Matt Cronin has picked them to win today as they play back to back on Court 6.
“Stanford teammates Mallory Burdette and Nicole Gibbs both have winnable matches, and I see Burdette taking out Timea Bacsinszky and Gibbs upending Alize Cornet.”, Cronin crowed on USOpen.org. According to Cronin’s picks, the Stanford Cardinal duo will go deeper in the Open than fellow Americans Jamie Hampton, Sam Crawford, Denis Kudla, Michael Russell or Jack Sock.
Burdette and Gibbs both stand a decent chance to advance. I’d love to see them both triumph in the first round but it would be good to have at least one advance. I’m picking that one will be Nicole Gibbs.
Gibbs confidence level is sky-high compared to watching a year ago. Notching her first WTA main draw win coupled with a prime-time match against World #2 Petra Kvitova in New Haven last week gives her a finishing crash-course few players of her ranking are offered. She faces Alize Cornet. Though Burdette didn’t have the same dream warm-up opportunity as Gibbs, she does have a weaker opponent in Timea Bacsinszky, who is most remembered by me for being twice carted away in tears.
Here’s my interview with Gibbs last week in New Haven after her first WTA win.