Bank of the West qualifying draw gets Stanford twist

STANFORD — Michaela Gordon is ready for the spotlight at Stanford.

It just won’t come this week in the main draw at the Bank of the West Classic.

The 18-year-old incoming freshman out of Saratoga nearly qualified for the WTA event over the weekend at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, before losing in heartbreaking fashion Sunday after a third-set tiebreaker.

So what was her takeaway?

“It was amazing,” said Gordon, who fell 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) after a 2-hour, 41-minute match on Stadium Court against Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, formerly ranked No. 39 in the world. “And it definitely showed me that I can compete with the players at the (Grand) Slams.”

It was a busy couple of days for Gordon, who on Saturday prevailed 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 in another marathon match, this one of the 2-hour, 22-minute variety.

No doubt it helped that the partisan crowd included family and friends.

“I’m pretty sure they got me through that match,” said Gordon, who was greeted by younger sister Jenna as she walked off the court on Saturday. “Because it just gives you more energy to know that that many people are behind you and supporting you. It was really nice.”

The only other time Gordon participated in the Bank of the Classic was in 2014, when she lost in straight sets during the opening round of the qualifying draw on her 15th birthday.

Her return to the courts at Stanford as a wildcard, which came only days after she turned 18, looked as if it wouldn’t last long.

Gordon jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but that quickly flipped.

Still, she was able to clinch the opening set with a rare foray toward the net.

“Yeah, like an inside-out volley,” Gordon said of her effort on set point. “I don’t know how I made that shot.”

Momentum shifted in a quick second set, with Gordon then attempting to avoid the sun in the middle of the…

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