The Stanford sophomore, seeded third, cleared one major hurdle Saturday in Athens, Ga., when she eliminated sixth seed and defending champion Jana Juricova of Cal 6-2, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
Next for Gibbs is No. 1 seed Allie Will, who has led Florida to two consecutive national championships. The match is scheduled for 9 a.m. PDT today (video streaming at www.georgiadogs.com). And that's just to get to the final.
Similarly, unseeded Bradley Klahn of Stanford and top-seeded Steve Johnson of USC will meet today at 10:30 a.m. in the men's semifinals. It will be a matchup of the last two NCAA champions. Johnson, a senior from Orange in the Los Angeles area and the defending champ, has won 70 consecutive matches. Klahn, a senior left-hander from the San Diego suburb of Poway, is the last player to beat him. He accomplished the feat on Jan. 17, 2011).
Gibbs, a product of Santa Monica in the Los Angeles area, avenged a 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (2) loss to Juricova in last year's NCAA semifinals at Stanford and improved to 3-0 this season against her Bay Area rival.
This will be the first time in three years that Juricova, a senior from Slovakia, has not appeared in the NCAA singles final. She lost to Georgia's Chelsey Gullickson in the 2010 title match in Athens.
Juricova also won the 2009 NCAA doubles title with Mari Andersson but lost in Saturday's doubles quarterfinals with Zsofi Susanyi.
Will, a senior from Boca Raton, Fla., beat Gibbs 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 on Feb. 12 at Stanford in their only meeting this season.
Susanyi, a freshman from Hungary, will play fifth-seeded Mallory Burdette of Stanford in today's other women's singles semifinal. Burdette, a junior from nearby Jackson, Ga., ousted second-seeded Beatrice Capra of Duke 6-3, 6-2. Capra, a freshman from Ellicott City, Md., reached the third round of the 2010 U.S. Open as an 18-year-old wild card.
Burdette is 2-0 this season against Susanyi, who downed Sabrina Santamaria of USC 6-2, 7-6 (4). Burdette prevailed 6-2, 6-4 and 7-6 (4), 6-2.
The second-seeded pair of Burdette and Gibbs also advanced to the doubles semifinals.
Johnson is 2-0 against Klahn this season, winning 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4, 6-3. Klahn had surgery for a herniated disc during the offseason.
The other men's semifinal pits third-seeded Eric Quigley of Kentucky against No. 9-16 seed Blaz Rola of Ohio State. Rola upset second-seeded Mitchell Frank, a Virginia freshman, 7-6 (5), 6-1.
Klahn and Ryan Thacher, last year's doubles runners-up, lost in the quarterfinals. Seeded fourth, they fell to Costin Paval and Dane Webb of Oklahoma 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
See below for Saturday's singles and doubles results of Stanford and Cal players in the NCAA Championships.
ATP World Tour in Nice, France -- Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, the 1998 NCAA doubles champions from Stanford, defeated unseeded Oliver Marach of Austria and Filip Polasek of Slovakia 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the Open de Nice Cote d'Azur.
It was the Bryans' third title of the year and 78th overall. They also triumphed in Sydney in January and Monte Carlo last month.
Women's Challenger in Gold River -- Tatsiana Kapshai, an ex-Sacramento State star, and Kelly Wilson, a former top-200 player in the world who teaches at the host Gold River Racquet Club, highlight today's first round of qualifying in the $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger.
Kapshai, a native of Minsk, Belarus, just completed her eligibility after winning three straight Big Sky Conference MVP awards. She will face Tori Trylovich (Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, a Sacramento suburb) in the third match on the Stadium Court.
Wilson, 38, will take on top-seeded Nadia Echeverria Alam, a 17-year-old American, in the third match on Court 1. Kapshai, Trylovich and Wilson are wild cards.
Play begins on all courts at 10 a.m.
Monday-Friday -- French Open, early rounds, ESPN2, 2-7 a.m. (live); Tennis Channel, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. (live), 4-7 p.m. (French Open Tonight).
Today-June 3 -- $50,000 FSP Gold River Women's Challenger, Gold River Racquet Club, 2201 Gold Rush Drive, Gold River, www.goldriverchallenger.com. Qualifying today (all day beginning at 10 a.m.) and Monday. Main-draw sessions begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, noon and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and noon on June 2 (semifinals) and June 3 (finals).
TODAY-JUNE 10 -- FRENCH OPEN, www.rolandgarros.com.
Saturday-June 10 -- $15,000 Sacramento Men's Futures, Park Terrace Swim & Tennis Club, 5500 Parkfield Court, Sacramento, www.parkterraceprotennis.org.
June 9-10, 16-18 -- NorCal 18 Junior Sectional Championships, Sacramento State, www.norcal.usta.com.
June 9-17 -- $15,000 Chico Men's Futures, Chico Racquet Club & Resort, 1629 Manzanita Ave.
JUNE 25-JULY 8 -- WIMBLEDON, www.wimbledon.com.
July 7-15 -- WTA, Bank of the West Classic, Stanford, www.bankofthewestclassic.com.
July 9 -- World TeamTennis, Sacramento Capitals' season opener at Boston, 4 p.m., www.saccaps.com.