Monday, February 8, 2016

Roundup: Bellis wins her biggest doubles title

CiCi Bellis, 16, of Atherton won the doubles title in the $100,000
Dow Corning Tennis Classic in Midland, Mich., with Ingrid Neel,
17, of Rochester, Minn. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   CiCi Bellis and Ingrid Neel might want to stick together.
   Playing in their first professional tournament together, the American teenagers won the doubles title in the $100,000 Dow Corning Tennis Classic on Sunday in Midland, Mich.
   Wild cards Bellis, 16, of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area and Neel, 17, of Rochester, Minn., beat second-seeded Naomi Broady of Great Britain and Shelby Rogers of Charleston, S.C., 6-2, 6-4.
   Bellis, an amateur, won her biggest doubles title in only her seventh pro doubles event and first since an opening-round loss with Jacqueline Cako of the United States in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford last August. Bellis lives minutes from Stanford.
   Bellis and Neel defeated the top three seeds in Midland. They routed No. 1 Asia Muhammad and Maria Sanchez, a Modesto product, in the quarterfinals and edged No. 3 Nicole Gibbs, a former Stanford All-American, and Taylor Townsend in the semifinals.
   Bellis also upset No. 2 singles seed and defending champion Tatjana Maria of Germany in the first round before losing to wild card Robin Anderson of Matawan, N.J.
   The unseeded Broady won the singles title, defeating Anderson 6-7 (6), 6-0, 6-2. The 6-foot-2 (1.89-meter) Broady towered over the 5-foot-3 (1.61-meter) Anderson.
Ingrid Neel returns a shot in the first round of women's
doubles in the U.S. Open last September. Neel lost
with fellow American teenager Tornado Alicia Black.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Broady, who will turn 26 on Feb. 28, qualified in Auckland on the elite WTA tour last month and stunned former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic in the first round en route to the quarterfinals.
   Broady also won the doubles title in the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger in 2013 with Storm Sanders of Australia.
   Fed Cup in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii -- Venus Williams overpowered Magda Linette 6-1, 6-2 in 60 minutes to give the United States an insurmountable 3-0 lead over Poland in World Group II.
   The United States also won in doubles behind Bethanie Mattek-Sands and CoCo Vandeweghe to beat Poland 4-0. The final singles match was not played.
   The United States advances to the World Group playoffs in April for a chance to compete for the Fed Cup title in 2017. The draw for the playoffs will be held Tuesday.
   Williams, 35, has won the Bank of the West Classic twice (2000 and 2002) and reached the final five other times (1998, 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2009).
   Williams' younger sister, top-ranked Serena Williams, and No. 4 Agneiszka Radwanska of Poland skipped this weekend's competition.
   Fed Cup in Quebec City, Canada -- Stanford junior Carol Zhao of Canada didn't exactly ease into the Fed Cup.
   The World Group II tie between Canada and Belarus came down to doubles, with Gabriela Dabrowski and Zhao, playing her first Fed Cup match, falling to Olga Govortsova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 6-4. That gave Belarus a 3-2 victory.
   The 6-foot (1.82-meter) Govortsova reached the Bank of the West quarterfinals in 2007 (as a qualifier) and 2013.
   Neither Belarus' Victoria Azarenka nor Canada's Eugenie Bouchard -- formerly ranked No. 1 and No. 5, respectively -- played in the tie.    
   ITA Women's Team Indoors in Madison, Wis. -- Karla Popovic defeated Olivia Sneed 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 on Court 6 to give sixth-ranked Cal a 4-3 victory over No. 16 Ohio State in the semifinals of the ITA National Women's Team Indoor Championship.
   Cal (5-0) will play defending champion North Carolina, ranked fifth, for the title today at 9 a.m. PST. It will be the Bears' second appearance in the final. They lost to Stanford in 2000 in Madison.

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