Defending tournament champion and recent Wimbledon singles champ Serena Williams looked dominant in her opening match, cruising past Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs 6-2, 6-1 on Wednesday afternoon at the 2012 Bank of the West Classic. Competing in her first match since capturing her fifth career Wimbledon title only four days ago, Williams required only one hour and two minutes to dispatch of Gibbs, the obvious crowd favorite playing in only her second career WTA match.
Williams stormed out to a 4-0 lead in the first set before Gibbs held serve to pick up her first game of the set. After trading games to make it 5-2, Williams held serve to close out the first set, 6-2. The second set featured more of the same, with Williams jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Gibbs registered a break in the sixth game, slamming home a winner after Williams misjudged an overhead in the sun. Williams finished with seven aces, six of those coming in the first set.
Two other seeded players in action during the day session also advanced. The number five seed, Yanina Wickmayer outlasted Heather Watson, 5-7, 6-1, 6-4, while the six seed, Chanelle Scheepers, started the morning with a 6-3, 6-4 triumph over wildcard Michelle Larcher De Brito.
The other seeded competitor in action, fourth-seeded Jelena Jankovic, was not as fortunate. Lucky loser Coco Vandeweghe won her third match in five days, upsetting Jankovic 6-4, 6-2 in the final match of the evening session.
Four doubles matches were contested on Wednesday, highlighted by the tourney’s top-seeded duo of Jarmila Gajdosova & Vania King coasting to a 6-2, 6-2 victory in the afternoon.
In the first of three men’s exhibition matches, Michael Chang came out on top against Pete Sampras. Chang dropped the first set, but eventually won the match when Sampras retired due to an injury at 5-5 in the second set.