By Erik Gudris | Thursday, August 28, 2014
15-year-old CiCi Bellis saw her main draw run come to an end at the US Open. Yet, the young American made a lot of new fans along the way.
Photo Credit: AP
CiCi Bellis, the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since 1996, attracted a standing room only crowd on Thursday night for her second round match. Yet the American teenager came up just short, despite her best efforts.
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Facing Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan on a packed Court 17, Bellis appeared ready to perhaps win yet another match at her home major. Despite dropping the first set, Bellis rallied and raced away with the second in convincing fashion 6-0.
Yet though Diyas is only 20 years old, her previous experience, including reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon, shown through late in the match. Taking hold of an early break, Diyas would win the match 6-3, 0-6, 6-2.
Despite the loss, Bellis only took positives away from her unexpected run that included beating Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova.
"I mean, I think just playing, you know, my first US Open and just having, you know, that under my belt, then it will be easier, you know, the next time I play."
Bellis will play in the junior event next week and hopes her experience playing in the main draw gives her confidence.
"I think it's definitely going to give me more confidence, you know, going into the juniors and definitely believing that I can beat, you know, whoever I play in juniors, for sure, if I play well. So I think it just gave me a lot more confidence."
When asked about the recent talk that she could be the next great American tennis player, the young Bellis hopes that might happen as that is what she is aiming for in her career.
"I think just people saying that, like, I'm going to be the future of American tennis. I mean, that's what I've wanted to be since, you know, I was a little kid. I think that definitely makes me want to, you know, work really hard and try to become that."