Monday, June 20, 2016

Bellis, 17, captures another South Carolina pro title

CiCi Bellis won her fourth singles title on the ITF Women's Circuit
and third in South Carolina. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   Something about South Carolina agrees with CiCi Bellis.
   The third-seeded Bellis, a 17-year-old amateur from Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area, outclassed qualifier Valeriya Solovyeva of Russia 6-1, 6-3 on Sunday to win the $25,000 Palmetto Pro Open on a hardcourt in Sumter, S.C.
   It was Bellis' fourth singles title on the professional ITF Women's Circuit and third in South Carolina. The other was in Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area.
   "It feels amazing," Bellis told the Sumter Item. "I've won three (USTA) Pro Circuit titles (in South Carolina). I love the site. I've never been (to the Palmetto Tennis Center) before, but I just felt really comfortable here."
   Bellis, who did not lose a set or face a seed in the tournament, ended the 23-year-old Solovyeva's winning streak at 11 matches. It was their first career meeting.
  At 15 in 2014, Bellis stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round of the U.S. Open. Cibulkova was the runner-up to Li Na in the Australian Open earlier that year.
   Solovyeva, who strongly resembles former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, was playing in only her third tournament of the year in singles and fourth since November 2014 because of a knee injury.

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