Monday, January 12, 2015

Bellis, 15, remains an amateur -- for now

CiCi Bellis won the USTA Girls 18 National Championships
last August in San Diego to earn a wild card in the women's
main draw at the U.S. Open. Photo courtesy
of JFS Communications.
   CiCi Bellis isn't turning pro -- yet.
   "Once I get to a certain ranking, I'll turn pro," Bellis, who's No. 251 in the world, said in an interview posted last week on espnW.com.
   That number has not been determined, according to Bellis and her parents, Gordon and Lori.
   But 15-year-old CiCi said Stanford, a lob away from her hometown of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, is "my dream school if I did go to college."
   Bellis, who's listed at 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters) and 110 pounds (50 kilograms), stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 last August in the first round of the U.S. Open.
   With the victory over Cibulkova, the runner-up to since-retired Li Na of China in the Australian Open last January, Bellis became the youngest player to win a main-draw match at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Bellis also won back-to-back $25,000 Challengers in South Carolina in October and ended the year as the top junior in the world.
   Bellis will bypass the Australian Open, which begins next Sunday, because she is not ranked high enough to enter qualifying. Instead, she will play in two $25,000 Challengers in Florida.

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