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Original Issue

Rising CiCi

The teen queen of the courts at the U.S. Open in New York City last week was Cici Bellis (FACES IN THE CROWD, Oct. 10, 2011), a homeschooled sophomore from Atherton, Calif., who at 15 years and 152 days became the youngest player to win an Open match since Anna Kournikova in 1996. The No. 2--ranked junior in the world, she upset 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkovà of Slovakia 6--1, 4--6, 6--4 in the first round, before falling to Kazakhstan's Zarina Diyas 6--3, 0--6, 6--2. Bellis earned her wild-card entry to the Open when she became the youngest player since Lindsay Davenport to win the USTA Girls' 18-and-under national championship last month. "This whole experience has been unbelievable," she said after her loss. "People saying I'm going to be the future of American tennis, I mean, that's what I've wanted to be since I was a little kid."