Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bellis advances in U.S. Open qualifying

   CiCi Bellis, 17, of Atherton in the San Francisco Bay Area routed Lina Gjorcheska of Macedonia 6-0, 6-2 today in the first round of qualifying for the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Bellis will play Grace Min, who upset 21st-seeded Julia Boserup 6-4, 6-2 in an all-American encounter. Boserup reached the third round at Wimbledon this summer. Min, 22, advanced to the final of the $50,000 Sacramento Challenger last month, losing to 17-year-old Sofia Kenin.  
   Min and Bellis -- ranked No. 145 and No. 158, respectively -- have met once. Min won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 on clay in the quarterfinals of a $25,000 tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., in January.
   Bellis made international headlines as a wild card in the 2014 U.S. Open by stunning 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round of the main draw. Cibulkova had reached the Australian Open final that year, falling to Li Na of China.
   Bellis, then 15, became the youngest player to win a main-draw match in the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   Former  Stanford star Kristie Ahn and men's No. 13 seed Dennis Novikov of Milpitas in the Bay Area are scheduled to play their second-round qualifying matches on Thursday. Both survived three-setters on Tuesday.
   Ahn, 24, topped wild card Francesca Di Lorenzo, a 19-year-old American, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4. Novikov, 22, beat Federico Gaio of Italy 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-2.
   Ahn will take on fifth-seeded Kai-Lin Zhang of China, and Novikov will meet Pedja Krstin of Serbia.

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