Social media hate directed at players from hecklers that lose bets on matches has become a bigger and bigger problem.
"It can be very toxic to your psyche, obviously," Gibbs said. "It’s a really big problem... I can’t really wrap my head around what would posses someone to sit behind a keyboard and write some of the things that I’ve received."
@Gibbsyyyy You played pathetic and were mentally weak out there today. Lot of missed opportunities! But I'm not about to stoop to that level— Shane Abrahams (@roostar83) October 18, 2016
Aside from turning her social media accounts to private or handing the reigns over to an agent, other solutions could exist.
"It's really disturbing to me when I go to a professional tournament and it's sponsored by one of these betting sites that I know my social media traffic is coming from after I take a bad loss," Gibbs said. "That’s a little bit unsettling to me sometimes. I hate seeing betting sites marketed as a title sponsor…"
Much of the chat focuses on her breakthrough into the Top 100 after a very rough 2015. The 23-year-old ended the year at No. 88 thanks to some big runs to the quarterfinals of Monterrey and the fourth round of Indian Wells (both from qualifying).
She reached a career-high ranking of No. 68 in July, before dipping in the latter half of the year.
Done with my 2016 singles season! Plenty of ups and downs but some clear things to work on and ready to come back a new player in January! ????— Nicole Gibbs (@Gibbsyyyy) November 23, 2016
"I have really mixed feelings [about 2016]. I obviously started out pretty strong. I felt that I was growing as player at an exponential rate..." Gibbs said. "I think I lost a little of that confidence and belief that I had early in the year… It’s definitely something I can learn from."
The California native said that her European trip was affected by a sprained hand from a freak-accident practicing on clay. She called the mid-year swing a “wasted few weeks.”
"I'm just really hoping for a healthy and productive 2017," she said. "I’m very optimistic about what know I can do in light of my first few months in 2016."
You may have seen Gibbs very active on Twitter during the recent presidential election. Hate it or love it, she finds that expanding beyond sports has helped her as a person, despite the risk of losing fans.
Conclusive proof that Americans would rather commit collective suicide than elect a woman into the highest office. Hope I'm wrong.— Nicole Gibbs (@Gibbsyyyy) November 9, 2016
"Ultimately, I genuinely believe that being authentic to myself and working on things that matter to me outside of tennis actually helps my tennis because it inspires me..." she said. "It make me feel like more of a [full] person who’s contributing to society at a greater level than just knocking some yellow balls around the court."