Saturday, October 31, 2020

Bellis pulls out of Tyler semis; twins reach doubles final

CiCi Bellis' winning streak ended at eight matches. 2018 photo
by Mal Taam
   One week ago, sixth-seeded Marta Kostyuk, 18, of Ukraine retired from the final of the $80,000 Mercer Tennis Classic in Macon, Ga., against wild card CiCi Bellis with leg cramps.
   Today, the unseeded Bellis withdrew from the semifinals of the $80,000 Bellatorum Resources Pro Classic in Tyler, Texas, against the eighth-seeded Kostyuk with a sore arm.
   Bellis, a 21-year-old San Francisco Bay Area product, won two three-set matches on Friday in the rain-delayed hardcourt tournament to give her eight consecutive victories. She underwent three operations on her right wrist and one on her right elbow in 2018-19, sat out for 19 months and returned last November. 
   "Her arm and elbow were pretty sore this morning after the six sets especially in the cold," texted Bellis' father, Gordon. "She didn't want to push it today and then jeopardize (playing in) Charleston (next week)."
   CiCi, who was born in San Francisco and grew up down the peninsula in Atherton, is projected to rise eight spots to No. 133 in Monday's new world rankings. She reached a career-high No. 35 in 2017 and was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year.
   Kostyuk, ranked No. 104, is scheduled to face seventh-seeded Ann Li, a 20-year-old American, for the first time on Sunday not before 10 a.m. PDT. Li, ranked No. 112, topped unseeded Greet Minnen of Belgium 7-5, 7-5.
   Neither finalist has lost a set in the tournament. Kostyuk crushed wild card Fernanda Contreras Gomez of Mexico 6-0, 6-0 in the first round. The title will be the biggest of either finalist's career.
   Alternates Allura and Maribella Zamarripa, 18-year-old identical twins from St. Helena, Calif., in the Napa area, advanced to the doubles final by walkover against unseeded Kostyuk and Clara Tauson, 17, of Denmark.
   The Zamarripas, who ousted top-seeded Caroline Dolehide and Caty McNally of the United States in the quarterfinals, are set to play fourth-seeded Paula Kania-Chodun and Katarzyna Piter of Poland at 8:30 a.m.
   The finals will be streamed live.
   ATP Tour — Second-seeded Max Purcell and Luke Saville of Australia beat fourth-seeded Ben McLachlan (University of California, Berkeley, 2011-14), a New Zealand product who plays for his mother's native Japan, and Franko Skugor of Croatia 4-6, 6-3 [10-5] in the semifinals of the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.
   McLachlan, 28, won the Cologne title last week with Raven Klaasen, 38, of South Africa in their first tournament together.
   Purcell and Saville, the Australian Open runners-up early this year, will play top-seeded Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen of Belgium in the final.

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