STANFORD, CA, USA - No.8 seed CiCi Bellis scored a statement win over two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, needing just over one hour to book her spot in the Bank of the West Classic semifinals.
The 18-year-old American bossed the match from start to finish, playing fearless tennis against her opponent and dropping just two games to win 6-2, 6-0 and reach her first ever WTA Premier-level semifinal.
“I think this is definitely one of the biggest wins of my career,” Bellis told the press afterwards. “I’m just really happy with how I played, and really excited I was able to get through it.
“I don’t think Kvitova played her best tennis, but on my side I feel like just played a real unbelieveable match, from my standings.”
Bellis revelled in the support from her home crowd and showed her quality from the very first game; Kvitova, who didn’t face a single break point in her opening match, found herself broken to love to start their quarterfinal.
When the No.2 seeded Czech broke straight back, Bellis responded in kind, setting the tone for the next few games. The American got out on top after five straight breaks for a 4-2 lead, calmly reeling off the next two games to take the opening set.
From there it was one-way traffic from the Stanford local as Kvitova continued to struggle with her rhythm, misfiring errors on routine shots - especially at the net - racking up 26 unforced errors to Bellis’ nine, and striking 12 winners against Bellis’ nine. The American fired off winners off both wings and, after an hour and two minutes, completed the commanding victory over Kvitova.
Bellis, who is seeking her first WTA title, will take on fellow Californian CoCo Vandeweghe in the next round for a spot in the Stanford final.
Vandeweghe, who hails from Southern California and was a runner up here in 2012, took down Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straights sets earlier in the day, 6-2, 6-3. The big-serving No.6 seed faced just one break point during the entire match and broke the Russian four times - twice in each set.