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August 31, 2017

Nicole Gibbs

New York, NY, USA


2-6, 6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a great first couple of sets. Looked like she started to elevate her level. Can you talk set by set how that was going on for your side?
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah, I think I obviously came out really well in the first set. I wasn't kind of thinking too much about the court or the moment, and I was just kind of committed to playing my game and playing to my targets.

I actually thought that more often than not I was the aggressor in the first set, which, you know, is something I was looking to take away from her if I could.

And then up until about 3-All in the second set, I felt like we were pretty toe-to-toe, and then I think I just started losing maybe a couple miles per hour on my groundstrokes and maybe started to feel the weight of the moment a little bit more, and she was able to take advantage of that and close it out in three.

Q. You were actually on court like an hour and 9 minutes longer than the last time you played. That was serious, because I think you were really determined to prove that it wasn't a fluke last time.
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah, I mean, the circumstances were a little strange last time, as well. I got in as a Lucky Loser for Halep, so I was coming into the second round. I had been dressed for the airport and was on my way when I got the call 30 minutes before the match that I was going to play her.

So, you know, definitely not the best preparation I've ever had for a match before, but definitely was looking to come out and, you know, prove that that wasn't representative of my level.

Q. You said yesterday that your coach has always believed in you. Do you believe in you now?
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah (smiling). I'm obviously disappointed with the outcome today, but I do like the trend that it seems the more I'm on court with players in the Top 10 at the top of the game, you know, I'm pushing them deeper and deeper into matches.

You know, it used to be that I was losing kind of straight sets, not so close, every time I came up against a top player, and now I feel like I'm consistently kind of knocking on the door.

But that being said, I really want to take that next step and start to win some of these matches, so I think my mindset is going to have to shift a little bit moving forward in order to do that.

Q. Can you articulate the contrast from a week ago, playing the qualifying here. Then today you're playing in the big house against the No. 1 player in the world.
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah, I was actually talking with my dad earlier today, and beyond that, I mean, two months ago I was playing at the LSU and Auburn campuses.

Even to be here in Flushing Meadows is obviously a huge change of scenery, a pleasant one, and to get to play on Ashe, I mean, it's one of the greatest honors in the sport. You know, I've gotten to play there twice now, and it was a much better show this time.

I was really, really excited to be there.

Q. At Stanford, you were kind of saying that you were trending up, that you felt like the injuries were maybe behind you and you were putting in the work you needed to do. Can you talk through how the last couple of months have kind of led into this match in terms of how well you were able to execute out there and kind of trust your body and trust your game?
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah, definitely. That's the most important thing as an athlete, that you can trust your body to do what you need it to do when push comes shove.

So definitely I have been able to get the matches in, to get the practice in that I have needed. I have kind of figured out what the sweet spot is in terms of how much time to spend in the gym and how much time to spend on the court.

I feel like my routines have been really ironed out, which is great moving forward, because it doesn't feel like a fluke. It doesn't feel like, oh, gee, wow, I don't know how I did this and how am I going to do that again next time?

It really feels like we have figured out how to get my body and mind in the best place, and it's just going to be a matter of committing to those things week in, week out, to see myself back into the top 100 and further.

Q. Other than not winning, how exciting was that for you?

Q. Yes, today.
NICOLE GIBBS: Yeah, I mean, it was obviously a thrill to come from, like I said, playing challengers earlier this summer to playing on Ashe. I mean, it's as good as it gets. It was really exciting.

Q. When you were growing up in California, there were tournaments in Manhattan Beach and Carson and San Diego and, of course, in Palo Alto where you spent many years and where you went on to play. The Palo Alto tournaments lost their sponsor and issues with the host site and may be leaving. What are your thoughts about that and what are your thoughts about just California, women's tennis, where there were four tournaments and now there may be just one?
NICOLE GIBBS: Well, you know, obviously as a California native, I would love for there to be more events in LA, but, you know, starting when I was on tour, there was only Stanford and Carlsbad. I had not had any particular luck in Carlsbad. Stanford is definitely the one that I'm attached to. I would obviously love to see the event stay there.

You know, it would be really disappointing to see it move. But hopefully things come together and it gets to stay there, because obviously that's my favorite tournament on tour other than maybe here (smiling).

Q. Do you think there is anything that can be done to keep it there?
NICOLE GIBBS: I don't know that I'm the person to ask about that. Obviously I would do anything within my power to help that happen, but I really have no clue, to be honest.

Q. Just tactically going into this match, did you feel like you were playing well, or did you employ a game plan that was -- like, how much more aggressive was it than what you usually find yourself playing?
NICOLE GIBBS: I think not at all versus how I played this week.

You know, my coach and I sat down, and we were, like, you know, it really hasn't -- the game plan doesn't change today. I'm still going to try to exert my will on my opponent and put them in uncomfortable positions, use my forehand.

Again, I think I did that really well for a set and a half, and then, you know, obviously I think some things got to me, maybe just the weight of the moment, I guess, and I stopped executing the way that I know I can.

I don't think there was any sort of seismic shift in the way that I was viewing this match versus others. Actually, a very similar game plan to playing Naomi Broady in qualifying. Big serve, big grounds strokes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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