Stanford, California: American wild card Nicole Gibbs beat Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn 6-4, 6-4 and her reward is a second-round meeting with top seed and newly crowned Wimbledon champion Serena Williams at the Bank of the West Classic.
"I am so in awe of her. She is one of my idols," Gibbs said. "It will be such an honor to share the court with her. I grew up watching the Williams sisters. For a while they were American tennis."
Gibbs, the collegiate singles and doubles champion this year, is coming off a victory in a modest ITF event in Denver.
"I have been competing better than I ever have in my life," Gibbs said. "This added a level of excitement for me. Knowing I could play Serena gave me the incentive to stay in points."
Gibbs was two years old when Williams turned pro in 1995 and served as her ball girl during an exhibition match in Cleveland 10 years later.
Mallory Burdette, Gibbs' college doubles partner, also advanced with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Anne Keothavong of Britain.