Teen sensation CiCi Bellis lost to 48th-ranked Zarina Diyas in the second round of the U.S. Open on Thursday night, ending one of the tournament’s most unexpected and intriguing stories.
Bellis, a 15-year-old from the Bay Area, became the youngest person to win a U.S. Open match in 18 years on Tuesday. On Thursday she fell to Diyas 6-4, 0-6, 6-2. She fought off two match points before finally going down.
To put things in perspective, this was only her second WTA match ever, and she isn’t even accepting prize money from the tournament because she wants to maintain her amateur status. For a 15-year-old ranked 1,208th in the world, a win over a top-15 opponent and run to the second round of the U.S. Open main draw is more than she could have dreamed of.
It all started to unravel early in the third set, when Bellis double-faulted to give Diyas a 3-1 lead. The 15-year-old has been composed beyond her years all tournament, but she lost her cool and slammed her racquet here:
Later in the set she appeared to turn an ankle, and that was that:
By all indications, this won’t be the last we hear from Bellis. Her coaches rave about her, and she appears to have a bright future.
Grantland’s Brian Phillips sums it up well:
CiCi Bellis is 15 and hits forehands that leave you unsure how her arm is still attached to her shoulder. Whatever happens here, she wins.
— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) August 29, 2014
She’ll be back:
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