A year ago, CiCi Bellis from nearby Atherton was poised to join Stanford’s athletics department when she last played the Bank of the West Classic on the university’s campus. Less than 12 months later, the life of America’s most promising young tennis sensation has taken a completely different turn.
Following decision to ditch Stanford and go for a professional tennis career after her 2016 US Open run, Bellis has steadily climbed the ranks of the pro game, making it into the Top 50 with wins over star opponents like Agnieszka Radwanska.
On Friday at the Bank of the West Classic, the 18-year-old added another major name to her list of victims, beating two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to make the semis by giving away just two games to the WTA veteran.
Bellis will play her first-ever WTA level semifinal against fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe. The second Stanford semifinal will feature American talent as well, with Madison Keys facing Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.
MORE PHOTOS FROM THE 2017 BANK OF THE WEST CLASSIC:
- Thursday: Kvitova makes winning Stanford debut
- Wednesday: Muguruza wins first match since Wimbledon triumph
- Tuesday: CiCi Bellis makes winning start
- Monday: Kvitova’s practice and All-Access Hour, Sharapova’s first-round victory
- Sunday: Qualifying stage completes + trainings of Sharapova, Muguruza, Keys
- Saturday: Qualifying action + Sharapova, Muguruza, Keys practice sessions
so happy to see top starts competing again. CiCi is really on the rise too!