Tuesday, December 10, 2013

NorCal hopes rest in Orange Bowl doubles

CiCi Bellis, 14, of Atherton lost in the
first round of girls 18 singles in the
Orange Bowl. 2012 photo
by Paul Bauman
   All Northern California juniors have been eliminated after the first round of singles in the prestigious Orange Bowl.
   But two NorCal players remain alive in doubles in the clay-court tournament in Plantation, Fla.
   Wild card CiCi Bellis of Atherton fell to qualifier Katherine Sebov of Canada 6-3, 7-6 (3) today in the girls 18s. Both players are 14 years old.
   Bellis won the USTA National Grass Court 18s and Clay Court 16s and the Easter Bowl 16s this year.
   The other two NorCal representatives in the Orange Bowl -- Michaela Gordon, 14, of Los Altos Hills in the girls 18s and Lane Leschly, 15, of Atherton in the boys 16s -- lost on Monday.
   Atherton and Los Altos Hills are located near Stanford University in the San Francisco Bay Area.
   Bellis and Gordon, meanwhile, won their first-round doubles matches today. Bellis and Katerina Stewart of Miami topped Asiya Dair of Kazakhstan and Anastasiya Rychagova of Russia 7-5, 6-2. Gordon and Anna Bondar of Hungary edged Sabrina Faybyshev of Morganville, N.J., and Julia Grabher of Austria 3-6, 6-0 [11-9].
   Bondar and Gordon will take on top-seeded Varvara Flink of Russia and Ivana Jorovic of Serbia. Bellis and Stewart will meet Gabriella Castaneda of Miramar, Fla., and Lana Rush of Great Britain. Both second-round matches are scheduled for Thursday.
    The Orange Bowl features many of the world's top juniors. The tournament was played on clay from 1947 through 1997 and hardcourt from 1998 through 2010 before returning to clay.
   Past champions include Chris Evert (1969-70), Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Roger Federer (1998) and Caroline Wozniacki (2005).    
   The Junior Orange Bowl, for boys and girls 14s and 12s, is scheduled for Saturday through Dec. 23 in Coral Gables, Fla.

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