Sunday, June 19, 2016

Bellis, 17, gains final of $25,000 tourney in Sumter, S.C.

CiCi Bellis of Atherton will play red-hot Valeria Solovyeva of
Russia today for the title in the $25,000 Palmetto Pro Open
in Sumter. S.C. 2015 photo by Paul Bauman
   CiCi Bellis of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area won a matchup of teenage amateurs on Saturday to reach her second singles final of the year on the professional ITF Women's Circuit.
    The third-seeded Bellis, 17, beat unseeded Francesca Di Lorenzo, 18, of New Albany, Ohio, 6-2, 6-4 in the $25,000 Palmetto Pro Open on hardcourts in Sumter, S.C.
    Bellis lost to Jamie Loeb, the 2015 NCAA singles champion from North Carolina, in the final of the $25,000 Surprise (Ariz.) Tennis Classic in February.
   Di Lorenzo recently finished her freshman year at Ohio State ranked fourth nationally in college.
   Bellis will play red-hot Valeria Solovyeva, a 23-year-old Russian qualifier, today at 10:30 a.m. PDT for the title.          
   Solovyeva, who bears a striking resemblance to former world No. 2 Vera Zvonareva of Russia, defeated American Caroline Dolehide, a 17-year-old wild card, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 for her 11th consecutive victory.
   Solovyeva is coming off the title in the $25,000 Sanchez-Casal Women's Open last month on clay in Naples, Fla. It was only her second tournament of the year in singles and third since November 2014 because of a knee injury. She reached the semifinals of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger four years ago.
   Bellis seeks her fourth title on the ITF Women's Circuit and Solovyeva her third.
   If Bellis wins the title, she will have done so without facing a seed. She defeated Australia's Olivia Rogowska, who won the 2014 Sacramento Challenger, in the second round and Canada's Carol Zhao, the NCAA singles runner-up last year as a Stanford sophomore, in the quarterfinals.

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