Most 15-year-olds are worried about passing their driver's tests. Fifteen-year-old CiCi Bellis is worried about how she'll follow up her first-round win at the 2014 U.S. Open.
The American teen upset 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in three sets, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, via Sports Illustrated Tennis:
15yo Cici Bellis of Atherton, California beats 12th seed and Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova 61 46 64. Incredible poise. #usopen— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) August 26, 2014
Bellis is the youngest player to win a match at the tournament in 18 years. Anna Kournikova beat unseeded Ludmila Richterova in the first round of the 1996 U.S. Open:
Cici Bellis, 15, becomes the youngest to win a match at the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996. #usopen— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) August 26, 2014
As if advancing to the second round of the tournament and beating a player of Cibulkova's ability isn't enough to be happy about, Bellis will break into the Top 500 following Tuesday's victory, per tennis writer Chris Goldsmith:
15 year old Bellis will already rise nearly 800 ranking spots and well inside the WTA top 500 after her win over Cibulkova— Chris Goldsmith (@TheTennisTalker) August 26, 2014
Before the match, she spoke about dealing with any possible pressure that would come from entering a very prestigious tournament at such a young age.
"I'm trying not to think about that," Bellis said, per USA Today's Nick McCarvel. "I need to go out and play my game. I haven't thought about how many rounds I'm going to win."
Bellis didn't waste any time in the first set, bludgeoning Cibulkova with her first serve. The American won an impressive 10 of her 11 first-service points. Cibulkova, on the other hand, won six of 11 first-service points and just three of 11 second-service points.
After dropping the second set, Bellis could've crumbled. Instead, she continued serving well and attacked Cibulkova's second serve. Bellis displayed the resolve of a gritty veteran, and she walked away with the victory.
All eyes will be on Bellis to see if she can continue her already improbable run at the U.S. Open. She gets unseeded Zarina Diyas in her next match. Diyas beat Lesia Tsurenko in straight sets.
Even if Bellis is knocked out in the second round, she's already provided one of the biggest surprises and most heartwarming storylines you'll see throughout the tournament.