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Tennis

A Unique Double-Header

Teammates face off in singles final, then partner to win doubles title.

Photo: Bill Kallenberg

NCAA CHAMP: Gibbs with the singles and doubles trophies.

In the immediate aftermath of defeating teammate Mallory Burdette for the national singles championship in women's tennis, Nicole Gibbs made sure to spend some extra time with family members instead of returning to the Stanford team's gathering area. "I gave her some space," said Gibbs, who then saw Burdette looking for her, to make sure she didn't stay away any longer. "Yes," noted Gibbs, "We're very close."

So was their May 28 match, which Gibbs won despite losing the first set and trailing 4-1 and 5-2 in the second set. Their emotionally and physically intense showdown ended with Gibbs prevailing 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 and was followed, the same day, by the two teaming to win the national doubles title 6-2, 6-4 over Nadja Gilchrist and Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia. It was the first time in NCAA men's or women's history that teammates faced off in the singles final before competing as partners for the doubles title.

Stanford women have won three straight doubles crowns (Hilary Barte, '11, and Lindsay Burdette, '10, in 2010 and Barte and Mallory Burdette in 2011). Gibbs was a sophomore and Burdette a junior on a relatively youthful squad that was eliminated this year in the quarterfinals of the team competition. Winning the singles and doubles titles satisfies some individual goals, noted Gibbs, but "I still have a lot to hope for in terms of a team championship."

The men's squad was eliminated in the NCAA quarterfinals, and senior Bradley Klahn, national singles champ two years ago, lost to Southern Cal's Steve Johnson in this year's semifinals.

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