Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bellis, 15, to play in women's main draw at U.S. Open

CiCi Bellis, 15, of Atherton became the youngest winner of the
USTA Girls 18 National Championships since Lindsay Daven-
port, also 15, in 1991. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications
   CiCi Bellis is going to the U.S. Open.
   Not as a spectator, and not as only a junior.
   Bellis, 15, earned a wild card in the women's main draw at Flushing Meadows by winning the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego.
   The second-seeded Bellis, from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, drubbed fifth-seeded Tornado Alicia Black, 16, of Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-1 on Saturday.
   Bellis won 12 of the last 13 games after trailing 3-0 in the first set. She became the youngest winner of the tournament since Lindsay Davenport, also 15, in 1991.
   Bellis and Black are ranked second and fourth, respectively, in girls singles in the world. Black had  routed Bellis on clay in both of their previous meetings, but the San Diego tournament is played on hardcourts.
   Bellis' eyes filled with tears after Saturday's match as she looked ahead to the U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 25.
   "I was so emotional at the end of the match," Bellis told reporters. "It feels amazing. I've been dreaming about playing there since I was 7 years old. The fact that I'm going to be playing there n a week and a half is amazing. I'm so excited."
   (Here's a link to a profile of Bellis that I wrote two years ago: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2012/06/little-bellis-gets-big-results.html)
  Meanwhile, Collin Altamirano of Sacramento will try to win the boys 18 title in Kalamazoo, Mich., for the second straight year today and earn another wild card in the men's main draw at the U.S. Open.
   Altamirano, seeded fifth, topped fourth-seeded Stefan Kozlov, 16, of Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals. Kozlov, the second-ranked junior in the world, reached the boys singles final at the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year. 
   Altamirano will play third-seeded Noah Rubin of Rockville Centre, N.Y., in a matchup of 18-year-olds for the title. Rubin, who won the Wimbledon boys singles title last month, outlasted seventh-seeded Michael Mmoh of Temple Hills, Md., 7-6 (1), 2-6, 7-5.
USTA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Results of Northern Californians only)
Boys 18
In Kalamazoo, Mich.
Singles semifinals
   Collin Altamirano (5), Sacramento, def. Stefan Kozlov (4), Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-4, 6-2.
Doubles semifinals
   Collin Altamirano, Sacramento, and Deiton Baughman (1), Carson, def. Tommy Paul, Coconut Creek, Fla., and Henrik Wiersholm (3), Kirkland, Wash., 7-6 (3), 6-2. 
Doubles final
   Stefan Kozlov, Pembroke Pines, Fla., and Noah Rubin (2), Rockville Centre, N.Y., def. Collin Altamirano, Sacramento, and Deiton Baughman (1), Carson, 6-2, 6-2.
Girls 18
In San Diego
Singles final
   Catherine (CiCi) Bellis (2), Atherton, def. Tornado Alicia Black (5), Boca Raton, Fla., 6-3, 6-1.

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