Wednesday, July 27, 2016

17-year-olds Bellis, Kenin fall to seeds in 50K Kentucky

CiCi Bellis, shown at last week's Bank of the West Classic,
lost to Belgium's Alison Van Uytvanck, a French Open
quarterfinalist last year, for the second time in three weeks.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Two 17-year-old Americans who starred in Northern California pro tournaments last week drew tough opponents in the $50,000 Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships and paid the price today.
   CiCi Bellis, who reached her first WTA tour quarterfinal in the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, fell to top-seeded Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium 4-6, 7-5 6-1 in Lexington, Ky. Bellis lives in Atherton, a five-minute drive from Stanford.
   Van Uytvanck, a French Open quarterfinalist last year who's rebounding from ankle surgery, also defeated Bellis in the semifinals of the $50,000 Stockton Challenger two weeks ago en route to the title.
   Sofia Kenin, who won last week's $50,000 Sacramento Challenger, lost to fifth-seeded Hiroko Kuwata of Japan 5-7, 6-4, 6-0.
   Also falling in the first round in Lexington were sixth-seeded Grace Min of Boca Raton, Fla., and eighth-seeded Anastasia Pivovarova of Russia -- the runners-up in Sacramento and Stockton, respectively -- and Modesto product Maria Sanchez.
   However, former Stanford standout Kristie Ahn beat Stockton semifinalist Michelle Larcher de Brito of Portugal 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Larcher de Brito reached the third round at Wimbledon as a qualifier in 2013, beating Maria Sharapova, and 2014 and underwent wrist surgery last year.
   In the first round of doubles in Lexington, Bellis and Jamie Loeb of Ossining, N.Y., ousted second-seeded Ashley Weinhold and Caitlin Whoriskey of the United States 6-4, 0-6 [10-7]. Weinhold and Whoriskey won their second straight Sacramento Challenger title on Sunday, beating Loeb and Chanel Simmonds of South Africa.
   Top-seeded An-Sophie Mestach of Belgium and Sanchez beat Freya Christie and Laura Robson of Great Britain 7-6 (3), 6-3. Mestach advanced to the singles final of last year's Stockton and Sacramento Challengers.

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