Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Bellis beats No. 41 Siegemund, will face Radwanska

CiCi Bellis, 17, recorded her seventh win
over a top-50 player today. She will seek
her first victory over a top-10 star on
Wednesday. 2016 photo by Paul Bauman
   Now that beating top-50 players has become routine for CiCi Bellis, the 17-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product will try to take the next step in her blossoming career.
   Beating a top-10 player.
   Bellis, the youngest player in the top 100 at No. 70, held off No. 41 Laura Siegemund of Germany 7-5, 7-6 (3) in 2 hours, 22 minutes today in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
   Bellis saved 12 of 18 break points against her versus 12 of 19 for Siegemund, who committed seven double faults.
   Siegemund, who will turn 29 on March 4, is the seventh top-50 player Bellis has beaten and the second in two days. She toppled Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva, seeded 17th and ranked 27th, 6-1, 7-5 in the first round.
   Bellis, who grew up in Atherton but now is based in Orlando, Fla., has won 18 of her last 19 matches. She ended 2016 with titles in two $50,000 indoor tournaments in Canada and the inaugural $125,000 Hawaii Open in Honolulu.
   Bellis is scheduled to face Agnieszka Radwanska, seeded fourth and ranked sixth, for the first time in Wednesday's featured night match at 7 o'clock (7 a.m. California time). Live scoring will be available.
   Radwanska dismissed qualifier Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 6-2 after receiving a first-round bye.
   Bellis has not won a set in three matches against top-10 players. She lost to then-No. 1 Serena Williams 6-1, 6-1 in the third round at Miami in 2015, No. 7 Venus Williams 6-4, 6-1 in the Stanford quarterfinals last July and No. 2 Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-1 in the third round of the U.S. Open last September.
   Entering Dubai, Siegemund had lost in the first round of seven straight tournaments after a sensational summer. In consecutive tourneys, she reached the semifinals in Bucharest on clay, won her first career WTA singles title in Bastad on clay and advanced to the Olympic quarterfinals in Rio de Janeiro on hardcourts.
   Siegemund also reached the Stuttgart final on indoor clay last April as a qualifier, defeating then-No. 2 Radwanska in the semifinals.

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