Thursday, August 27, 2015

Bellis upsets seed in U.S. Open qualies; Novikov falls

CiCi Bellis, shown during this month's Bank of the West Classic
at Stanford, reached the final round of qualifying for the U.S. Open.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   San Francisco Bay Area residents CiCi Bellis and Dennis Novikov faced seeds today in the second round of qualifying for the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
   Only the 16-year-old Bellis survived.
   Bellis, who lives in Atherton, upset 22nd-seeded Romina Oprandi of Switzerland 7-5, 7-5.
   Novikov, 21, of Milpitas, lost to 26th-seeded Matthew Ebden of Australia 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-2.
   "Unfortunately couldn't pull it out today," Novikov tweeted. "Live and you learn."
   Bellis will play 11th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko, 18, of Latvia on Friday for a berth in the main draw, which begins Monday. Ostapenko, who won the 2014 Wimbledon girls singles title, outlasted Julia Glushko of Israel 2-6, 6-0, 6-4.
   Bellis received a wild card in last year's U.S. Open and shocked 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, the 2014 Australian Open runner-up, in the first round. Bellis became the youngest player to win a match at Flushing Meadows since Anna Kournikova, also 15, in 1996.
   U.S. Open National Playoffs in New Haven, Conn. -- Sacramento-area residents Yasmin Schnack and Katsiaryna Zheltova demolished Americans Josephine Cao and Dilara Spicer 6-1, 6-0 to reach the doubles final.
   Schnack and Zheltova will meet University of Alabama stars Maya Jansen and Erin Routliffe on Friday for a wild card in the main draw of women's doubles in the U.S. Open.
   Jansen and Routliffe, who have won the last two NCAA doubles titles, outclassed Americans Alexandra Anghelescu and Caroline Price 6-2, 6-2. 
   Schnack retired from the pro tour in 2012 at age 24 after winning 11 doubles titles on the ITF women's circuit and reaching a career-high No. 140 in women's doubles.
   Zheltova, a Belarus native, earned All-America honors at Sacramento State in 2008 by reaching the Sweet 16 in singles at the NCAA Championships. Also that year, Schnack helped UCLA win the team title.
   In the men's doubles semifinals of the U.S. Open National Playoffs, top-seeded Julio Peralta of Chile and Matt Seeberger of Vancouver, British Columbia, edged Americans Vahid Mirzadeh and Jesse Witten 7-6 (6), 7-6 (4).
   Peralta and Seeberger will face Ashley Fisher and Nathan Healey in Friday's final.
The Australian pair defeated Daniel Cochrane of Great Britain and Phillip Simmonds of the United States 6-4, 6-3.
   Seeberger was born in San Francisco and won a record eight NCAA titles (three singles, three doubles and two team) at Division III UC Santa Cruz.
   The champions will earn a wild card in the main draw of men's doubles in the U.S. Open.

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