Bubbling babe Bellis is back with her tennis court dances. After making her presence felt at 2014 US Open, CiCi Bellis won at Miami Masters on Friday. She now waits for her next match, where she will most probably meet 19-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams. And surprisingly the kid didn’t sound scared, when she expressed her willingness to take on the best female tennis player in the world. Among men, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych Kevin Anderson, Donald Thiem, Santiago Giraldo and Bernard Tomic all sailed into the third round. Four-time champion Novak Djokovic began his Miami campaign by losing in doubles and his first singles match comes up on Saturday night. Among women, Serena Williams’ second-round match on Friday night against Monica Niculescu was interrupted due to rains and the two players will wait until Saturday. That gives more time to CiCi Bellis to relish the chance of hanging around in the tournament. Indian Wells champion Simona Halep, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanovic and Sloane Stephens also sailed into the third rounds. The day didn’t have any major casualty that deserved special mention.
CiCi Bellis is still an amateur tennis player. For a day or two, the 15-year old made interesting media splashes at last year’s US Open at Flushing Meadow but her non-professional and school-girl status prevented her from taking part in other tournaments but in the US Open, she began by causing a major upset, when she beat 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova and became the youngest player to win a match at US Open since 1996. In the second round, she had lost to Zarina Diyas. By some quirk of fate, Bellis met Diyas in her first match at Key Biscayne yesterday and took her revenge on the Kazakh woman with a 6-2, 6-1 victory. The California girl has been prevented by her family from turning Pro because they want her to get better education and a Business Management degree from Stanford. But the love for tennis keeps bringing the teenager into competitions from time to time. On Friday, she played on the remote court with hardly anyone watching the match. But if she were to meet Serena Williams, the venue will be the prestigious stadium court packed with crowd. However, the Californian says she is not intimidated at the prospect of taking on the seven-time winner at Miami.
No.2 seed Rafael Nadal began his campaign for his first Miami Masters title with a 6-4, 6-2 second round victory over compatriot Nicolas Almagro. Nadal has been unlucky at Miami in his 10 previous appearances, where he could reach the finals on 4 occasions but could not progress beyond that point. Nadal had a sore ankle that developed during a practice session but he overcame the pain. It took him 52 minutes for the first set but he soon returned to his rhythm in the second set. He played much faster, broke Almagro twice and won on his first match point. Just as he was leaving the stadium, heavy rain lashed the arena and the entire night session was washed out. One match scheduled for the night, featured world no.1 Serena Williams, who was to begin her bid for the eighth Miami title with a second-round encounter against Romanian Monica Niculescu.
Two-time title winner and no.3 seed Andy Murray entered the third round by beating USA’s Donald Young 6-4, 6-2. Though the 2009 & 2013 champion Murray could just produce 14 winners and hit 21 unforced errors, it was okay in comparison to 32 unforced errors from Young in hot and humid conditions. Murray won in about 90 minutes and he will now face Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo in third-round. Giraldo came through 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 against Dutchman Robin Haase in his second round match. Swiss seventh seed Stan Wawrinka had to fight hard against Argentina’s Carlos Berlocq before winning at 6-7, 7-5, 6-2, while eighth-seeded Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic advanced with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over South Korean Chung Hyeon. In other men’s singles matches; no.25 seed Australia’s Bernard Tomic defeated American Austin Krajicek 7-6, 7-5; South African Kevin Anderson beat American Sam Querrey 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 and Austrian Dominic Thiem defeated Spain’s 10th seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 4-6, 6-3.
In women’s draw; no.3 seed Simona Halep beat Czech qualifier Nicole Vaidisova 6-4, 2-6, 6-1; two-time Miami champion Victoria Azarenka flew past no.20 seeded Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1 and no.5 seeded Ana Ivanovic defeated Irina Falconi 7-5, 6-7, 6-3. A surprise packet was Sweden’s Johanna Larsson, who shocked Czech 10th seed Lucie Safarova with a 7-6, 6-2 victory.