Catherine "CiCi" Bellis is not your ordinary teenage girl- the 15-year-old has just won her debut match at the U.S. Open.
She defeated 12-seed Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in three sets 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
So exciting to see CiCi Bellis win her 1st rd @usopen. 15 years old and had nerves of steel. Hope we see more of her in NY!!— Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) August 27, 2014
CiCi Bellis gained entry into the U.S. Open only via a wildcard. She is now the youngest woman to win a match at the prestigious tennis championship since Anna Kournikova in 1996 and the youngest American to win a match at the U.S. Open since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1986.
“I went into the match thinking it was going to be such a great experience, but I never thought I would come out on top winning,” said Bellis.
Bellis wants to be a professional player one day but would like to stick to her amateur level games and complete her education. She’s not even taking home her $60,000 prize for winning her first-round match in order to keep her amateur status in case she wants to play college tennis.
She is a Kim Clijsters fan and she aspires to play like her some day. Judging from her game on Tuesday, it is easy to see she has the potential to play much, much better.
Her love for tennis comes from her mother who played junior tournaments and though Bellis played both soccer and tennis when younger, she opted for the latter by the time she was 10 and has been concentrating on it ever since.
All her hard work has paid off.
All eyes are at the young champion as she gears to play No. 48 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan in the second round.