|CiCi Bellis earned a wild card in the U.S. Open by winning|
the USTA Girls 18 National Championships in San Diego
three weeks ago. Photo courtesy of JFS Communications
Bellis, the second-ranked junior in the world, overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third set to become the youngest player to win a main-draw match in the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
Cibulkova, only 5-foot-3 (1.61 meters), was the runner-up to Li Na in the Australian Open in January and won last year's Bank of the West Classic at Stanford. Atherton is adjacent to Stanford, and Bellis grew up attending the tournament.
Cibulkova, however, has won one match in four tournaments since Wimbledon, including a first-round loss to Garbine Muguruza at Stanford. Cibulkova's victory was over 17-year-old wild card Francoise Abanda in Montreal three weeks ago.
Bellis will face Zarina Diyas, a 20-year-old Kazakh who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. She is ranked 48th.
Here's a link to my 2012 profile of Bellis: http://norcaltennisczar.blogspot.com/2012/06/little-bellis-gets-big-results.html
Borna Coric, a 17-year-old qualifier from Croatia, ousted 29th-seeded Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Rosol, 29, won his second career ATP title last week in Winston-Salem and stunned Rafael Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in 2012.
U.S. report -- The women went 9-4 in singles and the men 3-5. Those figures include two all-American encounters. With the women's first round complete, 12 U.S. players remain. With some of the men's opening round still to be played, only five Americans are left.
Northern California connection -- Sam Querrey, a San Francisco native and former Sacramento Capital in World TeamTennis, subdued Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina 6-2, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Querrey could meet top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the third round.
Dmitry Tursunov, a Russian veteran based in the Sacramento suburb of Granite Bay, lost to Alejandro Gonzalez of Colombia 6-4, 6-4, 7-5. Tursunov, 31, had been sidelined since Wimbledon with a left ankle injury.
Former Stanford star Nicole Gibbs, 21, outlasted 41st-ranked Caroline Garcia of France 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 for her first Grand Slam main-draw victory.
Fast fact -- Roger Federer and Serena Williams each have captured 17 Grand Slam singles titles, including five in the U.S. Open. They headlined the night session and won in straight sets.
Quote -- Bellis on her victory: “Believing was the number one thing that I had to do today. Just go out there and believe that you can win. If you do believe, there's two options. You can either believe and lose or believe and win, but if you don't believe you're going to lose anyway.”