CiCi Bellis, 15, beat No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova (6-1, 4-6, 6-4) in the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open on Tuesday.
She became the youngest to win a match at the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
Bellis, whose first name is Catherine, was born in San Francisco, and resides in Atherton, Calif. She has been focused on tennis since age 11. Bellis is homeschooled and is an only child.
The 15-year-old said she looks up to Kim Clijsters and models the style of her game off the retired Belgian player.
At the end of the tournament, Bellis will be 15 years and 152 days old. She is the youngest player competing in the U.S. Open, and the youngest Grand Slam main draw participant since Alize Cornet in 2005. The next youngest player is this year's Open is 17-year-old Belinda Bencic.
Bellis is currently the No. 2 ranked junior in the world, but her highest singles ranking of her career was No. 1204, which she achieved in May 2014.
Bellis' match against Cibulkova was just the 13th pro-level match of her career. She made her professional debut at $25K ITF Rancho Santa Fe in California in February.
The 15-year-old secured a spot in the U.S. Open by winning USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship
Bellis' hitting partner is Taylor Davis.
Bellis played as a junior at 2013 U.S. Open.
15yo Cici Bellis of Atherton, California beats 12th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 61 46 64. Incredible poise. #usopen— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) August 26, 2014
- Sarah Barshop