Nicole Gibbs of Stanford and Blaz Rola of Ohio State won NCAA singles titles Monday.
Gibbs repeated as women’s champion after routing a hobbled Mary Weatherholt of Nebraska 6-2, 6-4. Rola, who is from Slovenia, became the first men’s tennis champion for the Buckeyes, beating Jarmere Jenkins of Virginia 7-6 (8), 6-4.
Gibbs, a junior who plans to turn pro, had never played Weatherholt before. She was eventually able to dominate with a strong forehand after falling behind 3-2 early in the first set.
Weatherholt hyperextended her right knee late in the second set returning a hard backhand and was able to continue only after it had been heavily taped. That knee has been operated on three times, most recently in September.
Gibbs’ triumph comes roughly a week after the Cardinal captured their 17th team championship in school history.
“I’m so happy to have won both the team and singles title,” Gibbs said. “But it was so sweet to win with the team. No memory can replace that.”
Gibbs is the first woman to repeat as singles champion since former Stanford standout Amber Liu did so in 2003 and ’04.
Gibbs was never seriously challenged in her run to the title, as she won all six of her matches in straight sets. Her most grueling match was a 7-5, 6-4 win against Arkansas’ Yang Pang in the first round of the tournament.
— Staff, wire report