American teenager, Catherine, or “CiCi” Bellis pulled a huge upset today over Dominika Cibulkova! The 15 year old from San Francisco, California won a wildcard into the US Open after winning the USTA National Hard Court Championship this summer.
Swinging aggressively, pumping her fists and loving every minute of the battle, Cici Bellis came out on top today beating Cibulkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. She is the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova.
I love this girls attitude! She’s positive and attacks the ball. Even in her post match interview, she mentioned how she plays aggressive and even if she doesn’t win each point that way, that’s how she attacks her match. After taking out the 12th seed, CiCi may just become this year’s America’s Sweetheart! Can’t wait to see her compete in the 2nd round!
Play with heart,
I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for tennis season to be back in full force! I am counting down the days until the Australian Open! But until then, let’s discuss some player/coach relationships as it seems like lately there has been an influx of new relationships being formed.
It’s not new to see former pros on the coaching end of things, but it seems like lately, all of our favorite players from the past have made their way back to the circuit via coaching. Brad Gilbert has worked with the best of them — everyone from Agassi, Roddick, Andy Murray to Nishikori and even Sam Querrey. Some of those relationships blossomed in chemistry, and some were duds. In 2013, we saw Sharapova hire, and quickly fire, Jimmy Connors — but let’s be honest, there wasn’t enough room on the court for those two superstars. Then there was Martina Hingis’ stint in coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchnkova…until Martina realized how much she missed the limelight and competition.
So, who do we have paired up in 2014?
There is a good chance you know someone who has fought a battle or had a scare with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer. Behind skin cancer, it effects the highest number of women. However, since 1989, the death rates from breast cancer have been declining as a result of better treatment and earlier detection through screening and increased awareness. Right now, according to the American Cancer Society, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
With all of that being said, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. People around the country, organizations, associations, brands, etc. will be working together this month to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services as well as raise money for funding programs and helping to find a cure. In a sport like tennis that is dominated by strong women at every level, this cause hits home for tennis players all over the world. For me, the cause is a personal one. In 2009, one of my favorite people passed from breast cancer — she was an amazing person, a mother, a grandmother, a wife, a sister, a pillar of strength, and a tennis player. Rosemary, a 4.0 player from Palm Desert, one of my Mom’s best friends and USTA teammate, and someone I considered family. Watching her battle the cancer made me realize how scary and devastating this disease can be and how it can hit anyone. Throughout it all, she kept a smile on her face and a racquet in her hand, whether it was playing when she was feeling strong, watching her granddaughters take lessons, or enjoying tennis at the BNP Paribas — Rosemary was a tennis player through it all. Sadly, in the last 5 years, the number of tennis players that I personally know that have been diagnosed with breast cancer has gone up significantly. Breast cancer has even hit the WTA when tennis legend, Martina Navratilova, an image of strength and health was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. What she described as her “own personal 9/11.”