Friday, July 20, 2018

NorCal's Bellis, 19, recovering from wrist surgery

CiCi Bellis and her coach, Anibal Aranda, pose in Decem-
ber 2016 in Burlingame in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   BERKELEY, Calif. -- CiCi Bellis won't play in her home tournament in two weeks.
   Or likely anywhere else this year.
   The 19-year-old sensation, who was born in San Francisco and grew up in nearby Atherton, underwent surgery for a torn ligament in her right wrist on June 27 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Bellis is right-handed with a two-handed backhand.
   The inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic on the WTA tour is scheduled for July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State. The tournament replaces the Bank of West Classic, which ended a 21-year run at Stanford last year.
   Dr. Richard Berger, who performed multiple surgeries on Juan Martin Del Potro's wrists, operated on Bellis.
   "The surgery went well," Bellis' coach, Anibal Aranda, said Thursday. "She's at home now taking some time off to recover and come back healthy and strong."
   Aranda, a national women's coach for the USTA, spoke at the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge, where he's working with Ashley Kratzer and Grace Min.
   Kratzer, a 19-year-old left-hander, upset the sixth-seeded Min in the first round and is scheduled to play fourth-seeded Kristie Ahn (Stanford, 2011-14) in the quarterfinals today at noon.
   Bellis, who reached a career-high No. 35 in August and was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year, has not granted any interviews, her agent, Marijn Bal, wrote in an e-mail.
   Wrist surgery has become increasingly common in professional tennis, even on the left wrists of right-handers with two handed backhands, such as Del Potro.
   Aranda said Bellis' right wrist began bothering her in February.
   "It started a little bit this year when we went to Doha and Dubai. Then by Miami (in late March), she couldn't play anymore. At the beginning of the year, she played against big hitters, and the balls and surfaces changed. She played Madison Keys, (Karolina) Pliskova, (Victoria) Azarenka, (Elena) Vesnina (and Garbine Muguruza). It's the same thing that happened to (Kei) Nishikori and Del Potro," Aranda said.
   Bellis, who now lives in Orlando, Fla., plans to return at the beginning of next year, Aranda added. A petite 5-foot-7 (1.68 meters), she also missed the first month of 2017 with a strained gluteus muscle.
   Bellis has dropped to No. 87 and will plunge further. However, WTA rules allow her to use her ranking of No. 44 when she last played to gain entry into eight tournaments within one year of her return.

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