Monday, August 3, 2015

Bellis, 16, to make hometown tournament debut

Wild card CiCi Bellis, shown in the recent Sacramento Challenger,
will play qualifier Misaki Doi of Japan today in the first round of
the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Bellis lives in neighbor-
ing Atherton. Photo by Paul Bauman
   CiCi Bellis has waited most of her young life for this day.
   The 16-year-old wild card will make her Bank of the West Classic debut today at 11 a.m. against qualifier Misaki Doi of Japan in the first round at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium.
   Bellis, who lives in neighboring Atherton, said recently that she attended the Bank of the West Classic as a spectator every year since she was 5 or 6 years old.
   After winning the USTA national 12-and-under title in 2011, Bellis did the coin flip for the second-round match between Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchova.
   Playing in the Bank of the West "means everything to me," Bellis said two weeks ago at the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger. "Every year I've gone, I've been thinking about how long it'll take for me to be able to play in that tournament, and I never thought it would be this soon.
   "It's basically in my back yard. I played there so many times when I was younger in clinics and practices. It's one of my favorite places to play, and it's such a beautiful campus, so I think it's going to be amazing to play there."
   At 15 last year, Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, the 2014 Australian Open runner-up, in the first round of the U.S. Open and ended the season as the youngest No. 1 junior in the world since 2006.
   Doi, a 24-year-old left-hander, is ranked No. 104 to Bellis' No. 157. Bellis, 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters) and 110 pounds (50 kilograms), is three inches (7.6 centimeters) taller than Doi but 11 pounds (five kilograms) lighter. This will be their first meeting.
   Doi or Bellis will face second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska, the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2012 and Stanford in 2013, on Wednesday night. The top four seeds receive a first-round bye.
   Following Bellis' match today, qualifier Nicole Gibbs, a 22-year-old former Stanford star, will play Caroline Garcia of France. Gibbs won NCAA singles titles in 2012 and 2013 and the doubles crown in 2012 with Mallory Burdette.
   At 7 p.m., seventh-seeded Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla., will face Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia. The 5-foot-10 (1.78-meter) Keys, who turned 20 in February, has reached the Australian Open semifinals and Wimbledon quarterfinals this year.
   Krunic, only 5-foot-4 (1.63 meters), turned 22 in March. As a qualifier in last year's U.S. Open, she shocked Keys and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to gain the fourth round.
   In tonight's last match, Mona Barthel of Germany will meet Canadian wild card Carol Zhao, who advanced to the NCAA singles final in May as a Stanford sophomore.
   Kimiko Date-Krumm, 44, of Japan advanced to the main draw with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada.
   Date-Krumm, who climbed to a career-high No. 4 in the world 20 years ago but retired at 26 for 12 years, will face 2013 Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki of Germany late Tuesday night in the first round.
   Lisicki set women's records with a 131-mph (210.8-kph) serve in last year's Bank of the West Classic and 27 aces in a June match in Birmingham, England.
BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC
At Stanford
Final-round qualifying
   Misaki Doi (1), Japan, def. Julia Boserup, United States, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
   Kateryna Bondarenko (2), Ukraine, def. Petra Martic (6), Croatia, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
   Kimiko Date-Krumm, Japan, def. Gabriela Dabrowski, Canada, 6-4, 6-1.
   Nicole Gibbs (5), United States, def. Anna Tatishvili, United States, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.
Today's schedule
Stadium Court
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Misaki Doi, Japan, vs. CiCi Bellis, United States.
(Not before 1 p.m.)
   Caroline Garcia, France, vs. Nicole Gibbs, United States.
   Andrea Petkovic (6), Germany, vs. Carina Witthoeft, Germany.
(Not before 7 p.m.)
   Madison Keys (7), United States, vs. Aleksandra Krunic, Serbia.
   Mona Barthel, Germany, vs. Carol Zhao, Canada.
Court 6
(Starting at 11 a.m.)
   Alison Riske, United States, vs. Tatjana Maria, Germany.
(Not before 12:30 p.m.)
   Hao-Ching Chan and Yung-Jan Chan, Taiwan, vs. Kimiko Date-Krumm, Japan, and Mandy Minella, Luxembourg.
   Asia Muhammad, United States, and Ajla Tomljanovic, Croatia, vs. Maria Irigoyen, Argentina, and Paula Kania, Poland.
   Kateryna Bondarenko, Ukraine, and Tatjana Maria, Germany, vs. Eva Hrdinova, Czech Republic, and Petra Martic, Croatia.   

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