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Bellis makes it to the quarterfinal round at Bank of the West Classic

 

CiCi Bellis continued her run through the Bank of the West Classic, beating fellow American Sachia Vickery, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, Thursday in the second round at Stanford's Taube Family Tennis Stadium.

The 17-year-old Atherton resident had a tougher time with Vickery a week after knocking her off in straight sets at the Stockton Challenger. After dropping the first set, Bellis hit toe-to-toe with Vickery, contesting everything. The match lasted two hours, 15 minutes.

“We've played each other so many times and practice together all the time," Bellis said. “We klnow each other's game so well. I've been working on change of direction and I think that's what won the match."

Stanford product Nicole Gibbs didn't fare as well, dropping a three-setter to CoCo VandeWeghe, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, in the evening match.

"I'm very sad to leave that court, especially in front of those fans," Gibbs said. "It's disappointing but their were some promising I can take into my game."

Perhaps the best part of the night was just before her match, when fans were tweeting what Gibbs' Pokemon name would be.

"There were two I really liked," Gibbs said. "One was Gibbsy-Mon and the other was Nica-Chew. I liked both of them."

Bellis, 3-2 against Top 50 competition, meets top-seeded and world No. 7 Venus Williams in Friday's quarterfinals. It will be one of Bellis' biggest match yet in another already stellar career. She met No. 1 Serena Williams in the third round at Miami last year.

“If you think about it, that's so cool," Bellis said. “It's unbelievable to play both of them at a young age. They've been doing it for so long, it's such an honor. She's one of the best players of all time."

Her match against Serena lasted 41 minutes. Williams won 51 of the 68 points.

“It went so quick I don't remember it," Bellis said. “I won't be as nervous as I was. It's not going to be easy but I'm a firm believer that nothing is impossible."

Bellis held serve at 3-3 in the third set and then broke Vickery to establish control. The final went deuce four times before Bellis captured the winning points.

With a 100 rankings points in her pocket, the 203rd ranked Bellis could be looking at a significant bump in the rankings. She owns a career-high ranking of 152, a mark she hit nearly a year ago to the day.

Vickey, ranked No. 204, reached the quarterfinal round of the 2014 Bank of the West Classic, her only quarterfinal appearance at a premier event to date.

Gibbs came out smoking, opening a 5-1 lead in the first set en route to a 6-2 victory.

"I stunk it up early," VandeWeghe said. "The first two sets I didn't feel like I was playing well. It's to be expected, being my first match since Wimbledon but I expect better."

In other second round matches, second-seeded Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia downed Poland's Urzula Radwanska, 7-6, 6-3 and American Alison Riske topped Romania's Ana Bogdan, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

In doubles, Great Britain's Johanna Konta and American Maria Sanchez upset top-seeded Yifan Xu and Saisai Zheng of China, 6-4, 6-4 while second-seeded Americans Raquel Atawo and Abigail Spears bested Israel's Julia Glushko and Poland's Magda Linette, 6-4, 6-3.

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