Friday, July 22, 2016

Bellis, 17, to face Venus in Bank of the West

   CiCi Bellis, a 17-year-old wild card playing five minutes from home, defeated Sachia Vickery today for the second consecutive week to reach her first WTA tour quarterfinal.
    Bellis, who lives in Atherton, beat Vickery, a 21-year-old qualifier, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Bank of the West Classic at the Taube Family Tennis Stadium at Stanford University.
   Bellis will meet top seed and two-time champion Venus Williams in tonight's featured match at 7 (ESPN3).
   "It's not going to be easy, but I don't think anything is impossible," Bellis told reporters. "Obviously, it'll be such an honor playing one of the best players of all time, and she's done so much in her career and still doing amazing things. It's going to be fun, and I'm very excited."
   Bellis has never played Venus Williams but lost to Serena Williams 6-1, 6-1 in the third round at Miami last year in their only meeting.
   All quarterfinalists in the top half of the Bank of the West draw are American, and all remaining players in the bottom half are from other countries.
   In the other all-American quarterfinal, fourth-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe will face Alison Risk. Vandeweghe, the 2012 runner-up to Serena Williams, defeated ex-Stanford star Nicole Gibbs 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the featured night match.
   Also, No. 2 Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia will play No. 5 Misaki Doi of Japan, and No. 3 Johanna Konta of Great Britain will face unseeded Zheng Saisai of China.
   Cibulkova, the 2013 Bank of the West champion, got married on July 9 in Bratislava.
   In the doubles quarterfinals, Konta and Modesto product Maria Sanchez knocked off top seeds and defending champions Xu Yifan of China and Zheng 6-4, 6-4.
   No. 2 seeds and 2013 champions Raquel Atawo (formerly Kops-Jones) of San Jose and Abigail Spears of Colorado Springs, Colo., beat Julia Glushko of Israel and Magda Linette of Poland 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.
   Here are links to the singles and doubles draws and today's schedule.

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