(August 29, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – American Cici Bellis, the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova back in 1996 fell to 20-year-old No. 48 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 on Thurday night in the second round. For Bellis who knocked out 12th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova, Bellis, her Grand Slam and tour level debut comes to an end.
“I think what surprised me is that I could really, like, stay with these pros,” Bellis said. “And I think today if I had, you know, played a little bit better, it would have been a different result. But, yeah, I mean, definitely just that I can, you know, play with them is really good.”
The 1208th ranked player was supported by fans who waited hours on Court 17 to get a chance to see a potential rising star.
“It was great,” Bellis said of the support. “I love when people watch me and support me like that. So it really, you know, helped me a lot.”
“Like this whole experience has been unbelievable, like mind-blowing,” Bellis said. “It’s been crazy. It’s been like the best couple days of my life.”
“I think in the beginning of the match I was, you know, nervous and I was a little tight,” she said. Then the second set I became freer. Third set, I mean, she just kind of played better than me. I wasn’t playing as well as I would have liked to, but it was a really good experience, I think.”
Bellis earned her way into the US Open by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championship to qualify for the wild card.
As for the Californian competing in the Juniors next week, Bellis said: “
“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.