Monday, January 8, 2018

Bellis earns sixth victory over a top-20 player

Cici Bellis, rejoicing after upsetting Petra Kvitova at Stanford in August, beat
20th-ranked Magdalena Rybarikova today in the Sydney International.
Photo by Mal Taam 
   Qualifier CiCi Bellis recorded her sixth victory over a top-20 player today, defeating Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 (2), 6-0 in the first round of the Sydney International.
   Rybarikova, 29, is ranked No. 20. The 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Slovak reached the Wimbledon semifinals last year.
   Four of Bellis' top-20 wins came last year, when the 18-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year. Bellis knocked off No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round at Dubai, No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the second round at Toronto, No. 15 Petra Kvitova in the quarterfinals at Stanford and No. 18 Kiki Bertens in the second round of the French Open. Bellis also stunned No. 13 Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open in 2014 at age 15.
   Bellis, ranked No. 56 after reaching a career-high No. 35 in August, will play Radwanska for the second time. Radwanska, who has plunged from a career-high No. 2 in 2012 to No. 28, ousted fourth-seeded and ninth-ranked Johanna Konta of Great Britain 6-3, 7-5. Konta won the first of her three WTA singles titles in the 2016 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford.
   Another Sydney qualifier, former Stanford star Kristie Ahn, lost to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands 6-2, 6-4.

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