Friday, August 4, 2017

Bellis, 18, to face Kvitova in Stanford quarterfinals

   For the second consecutive year, CiCi Bellis will face a former Wimbledon champion in the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   The eighth-seeded Bellis will take on second-seeded Petra Kvitova for the first time tonight at 7 (ESPN3) after losing to Venus Williams 6-4, 6-1 last year.
   Williams owns five Wimbledon crowns (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008) and Kvitova two (2011 and 2014).
   Both Williams and Kvitova are 6-foot (1.82 meters) or taller, and both have had physical issues off the court.
   Williams was diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome, an energy-sapping autoimmune disease, in 2011. Kvitova suffered career-threatening cuts on her left (playing) hand while fending off a knife attack at her home in the Czech Republic in December. She returned to the circuit in May.
   Williams, a 37-year-old right-hander, lost to Johanna Konta in last year's final. Neither player returned this year.
   Kvitova, 27, debuted in the Bank of the West Classic with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine in the second round on Thursday. The top four seeds received first-round byes.
   The 18-year-old Bellis, who grew up a five-minute drive from Stanford in Atherton, defeated qualifier Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 7-6 (3), 6-2.
   Bellis, the youngest player in the top 50 at No. 44, evened her record against the 5-foot-4 (1.63-meter) Cepede Royg at 1-1. Cepede Royg won 6-4, 6-0 in the first round of qualifying for the 2015 French Open.
   All eight singles seeds reached the Bank of the West quarterfinals, the first time that has happened in a WTA tournament since Philadelphia in 2004.
   In the other quarterfinal in the bottom half of the draw, fourth-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia will meet sixth-seeded CoCo Vandeweghe of Rancho Santa Fe in the San Diego area at about 2 p.m.
   Vandeweghe, the runner-up to Serena Williams at Stanford five years ago as a lucky loser, overpowered former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs of Santa Monica in the Los Angeles region 6-0, 6-2.
   Pavlyuchenkova also debuted in the Bank of the West Classic. She downed American Alison Riske, a semifinalist last year and quarterfinalist two years ago at Stanford, 6-4, 6-0.
   In the top half of the draw, top seed and reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza will play fifth-seeded Ana Konjuh, a 19-year-old Croatian ranked 20th, at noon.
   Third-seeded Madison Keys of Boca Raton, Fla, will face seventh-seeded Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine at about 4 p.m.
   Here are the Bank of the West singles and doubles draws and today's schedule.

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