Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bellis plans to return soon; U.S. Davis Cup team named

CiCi Bellis hopes to play in her first tournament in 19 months in November. The
20-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product will try to rebound from three surgeries
on her right wrist and one operation on her right elbow. 2018 photo by Mal Taam
   After four operations and 19 months, former world No. 35 CiCi Bellis plans to return to competition in November.
   The 20-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product hopes to play in the $162,480 Oracle Challenger Series, Nov. 10-17 on hardcourts in Houston, usta.com reported today.
   "Everything's going really well," Bellis, who has been sidelined since the Miami Open in March 2018, said in the story. "I've gotten to the point where I'm practicing normally, and obviously I've done a lot of rehab in the past year or more. Everything has really strengthened and (is) looking pretty positive.
   "I love tennis so much, and it's been my life for so long. I would miss it so much if I wasn't playing. It's been so amazing for me to be back to my normal practice routine, and that's really what motivated me from Day One when I had to get my first surgery, knowing that I'd be able to get back to playing full time. If everything goes well and I'm feeling good, hopefully I'll be able to play my first tournament in about three weeks, then the Australian swing."
   Bellis was born in San Francisco and grew up in Atherton, near Stanford. She reached a career-high No. 35 in August 2017 and was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
   The petite 5-foot-7 (1.68-meter) right-hander had surgery on her right wrist to repair three tears, shave a bone in her right elbow, shorten a bone in her right wrist and insert a plate, and remove the plate.
   U.S. Davis Cup team – Taylor Fritz, 21, and Reilly Opelka, 22, were named to the U.S. Davis Cup team for the first time on Monday.
   Joining Fritz and the 6-foot-11 (2.11-meter) Opelka will be 32-year-old Sam Querrey, 21-year-old Frances Tiafoe and 27-year-old Jack Sock in the revamped Davis Cup Finals, Nov. 18-24 in Madrid.
   All except Opelka have won Challenger singles titles in Northern California. Querrey, in fact, was born in San Francisco.
   With No. 31 Fritz, No. 37 Opelka, No. 47 Querrey and No. 48 Tiafoe, new captain Mardy Fish has four of the top five Americans in singles. No. 16 John Isner declined to play because of family commitments.
   Sock has slumped from a career-high No. 8 in 2017 to No. 251 in singles, but he has won three Grand Slam men's doubles titles, including two last year.
   Eighteen nations, divided into six groups, will compete for the Davis Cup. The winner of each group and the top two second-place teams after the round-robin stage will advance to the quarterfinals, when single-elimination play begins. Each "tie" will consist of two singles matches and one doubles match, all the best-of-three tiebreak sets.
   The United States, seeded sixth, will play in Group F with Italy and Canada. The winner will play the winner of Group F (Belgium, Colombia and Australia) in the quarters.

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