My Tennis Life: Nicole Gibbs takes lesson from early Indian Wells exit

by: | March 17, 2017

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Nicole Gibbs took an early exit from the BNP Paribas Open, losing to Heather Watson in the first round, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. But the world No. 94, who was defending fourth-round points that she earned a year ago in Indian Wells, sees this step back as a lesson learned. In her latest “My Tennis Life” dispatch, Gibbs, who will likely slide out of the Top 100 when the new rankings are tabulated on Monday, faced the reality of the situation head on:

Despite trying to maintain an "in-the-moment" attitude, I found it difficult at times to cope with the idea of losing points and dropping back in the rankings. The good news is that I have no major points coming off for a while now. The bad news is that point defenses are a necessary evil of tennis, and I will have to figure out how to handle pressure more gracefully down the road.

Gibbs will next compete at the Miami Open. To prepare for the prestigious hard-court tournament, the 24-year-old American practiced her serves, trying to hit cans placed around different parts of the service box.

Call it a serving lesson:

Off the court, Gibbs is maintaining a busy schedule. She and her boyfriend recently purchased their first house—"we are moving from a 650 sq ft apartment into a proper home”—and she’s figured out a way to replicate the seemingly inimitable Chipotle bowl. Her version includes rice, chicken in chipotle marinade, fajita veggies and Chobani yogurt—which, according to Gibbs, tastes just like sour cream.

Call it a cooking lesson:

"I try to take peace in the idea that everything happens for a reason,” Gibbs said, "so perhaps the early loss this week was meant to allow me to enjoy the transition back home more thoroughly."

Sam Groth and Nicole Gibbs are giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the world of professional tennis all year long in My Tennis Life. To read more updates from Sam and Nicole, go to

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