On Tennis: For CiCi Bellis, a Rising Teenage Star, What a Difference a Year Makes

“Last year at this time, I was planning on going to college,” Bellis said. “My tennis wasn’t where I wanted to be, but I worked really hard, and it’s back now. And I’m really happy.”

A year ago, for all her precocious talent, Bellis was ranked well outside the top 200 and preparing to remain an amateur and attend Stanford University. That would have been a dream situation for most bright American teenagers, but not if you have dreamed most of your short life about joining the WTA Tour.

“From Day 1, she wanted to go to Wimbledon, and I mean Day 1,” said Monique Javer, Bellis’s childhood coach in Hillsborough, Calif.

In April, Bellis began working full time with Aranda, a former top junior from Paraguay who is on the United States Tennis Association’s coaching staff. Bellis shored up her vulnerable second serve and added more muscle to her slight frame, particularly to her lower body.


A year ago Bellis was preparing to go to college at Stanford, but now she is making her first appearance at the BNP Paribas Open as a professional tennis player.

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