Monday, October 20, 2014

Bellis, 15, wins second Challenger title in two weeks

CiCi Bellis, shown in 2012, routed No. 6 seed
Ysaline Bonaventure 6-2, 6-1 to win the $25,000
Florence (S.C.) Open. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Only 15 years old, CiCi Bellis of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area won her second $25,000 Challenger singles title in two weeks on Sunday.
   And it wasn't close.
   The unseeded Bellis dominated sixth-seeded Ysaline Bonaventure of Belgium 6-2, 6-1 on an outdoor hardcourt in the McLeod for Health Florence (S.C.) Open.
   Bonaventure, a 20-year-old left-hander, was ranked No. 219 in the world entering the tournament.
   Bellis, the top-ranked 18-and-under girl in the world, will improve from No. 311 in the women's singles rankings to about No. 261. She was No. 423 entering the Rock Hill (S.C.) Rocks Open the week before Florence.
   The 5-foot-6 (1.68-meter), 110-pound (50-kilogram) Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open in August to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Bellis also helped the United States win the Junior Fed Cup title three weeks ago in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

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