With San Jose State serving as the host site for the Women's Tennis Association's (WTA) Northern California stop, the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, Gauvain accepted a wild card singles entry into the tournament's 16-player singles qualifier. The Spartans' #1-player the last four seasons and a 2018 graduate with cum laude honors as a business administration major had a 3-2 second-set lead before losing to Russia's Anna Blinkova, ranked #101 in the WTA world rankings, 6-0, 6-3.
Culibrk, from Laurel, Md., and heading into her junior year at San Jose State, was Gauvain's practice partner during the week and was in the tournament's newly installed 4,000-seat stadium court stands watching her teammate battle it out in Gauvain's third tournament as a professional.
Little did they know after Gauvain's July 28 match with Blinkova that they would be doubles partners when they face the pair of Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania and Heather Watson of Great Britain in a July 30 Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic first-round doubles match. Buzarnescu and Watson are the tournament's #2-seeded doubles pair.
First serve is no earlier than 2:00 p.m. (PT) and is the second match on Court #1 in the new Spartan Tennis Complex at the university's South Campus located near the intersection of 10th and Humboldt Streets in San Jose.
The two Spartans have a tall order facing two of the top doubles players in the world. According to the WTA's July 23 doubles rankings, Buzarnescu is ranked #24 and Watson, #48. Together, they are the #2-seeded pair in the tournament's 16-team doubles draw.
Though Gauvain and Culibrk were the #1 and #2 singles players, respectively, on last year's San Jose State team, they are playing doubles together for only the third time. They played together at the 2017 SDSU (San Diego State University) Fall Classic and went 0-2. Gauvain and Culibrk were not paired together in doubles action in the 2016-17 season.
The Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic has morning and evening sessions starting July 30. Finals in doubles and singles are set for Sunday, August 5.