Following her remarkable run during the 2014 United States Open – a run that included a staggering upset victory over Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova – 15-year-old Catherin ‘CiCi’ Bellis lifted her first professional title on the ITF Women’s Circuit when she won the $25,000 Rock Hill, South Carolina tournament.
The unseeded Bellis defeated a much older former University of Florida standout Lauren Embree 6-4, 6-0 to win the title. She also managed several upsets in the early rounds to add to her majestic week on the ITF circuit.
It was the first USTA Pro Circuit singles championship for the amatuer, who is the No. 1-ranked junior girl player in the world (18-and-under).
Bellis took the tennis world by storm this summer with her emphatic performances before and during the US Open. Bellis began her run by winning the USTA Girls’ 18s National Championships to earn a wildcard entry into Flushing Meadows. Not only did Bellis claim the spot of the youngest Grand Slam main draw contestant since Alize Cornet in 2005, she became the youngest player to win a match at the season’s final Grand Slam event since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
Bellis is playing another $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event in Florence, S.C. this coming week. She will spend two more weeks with Bollettieri before playing in a $50,000 event at Captiva Island in Florida.