15-year-old sensation CiCi Bellis loses in juniors second round

Fifteen-year-old CiCi Bellis serves to Natalia Vikhlyantseva during the juniors second round. 

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

 

The second round once again proved the downfall for U.S. Open darling CiCi Bellis.

The 15-year-old Californian, who became an overnight sensation when she stunned 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in Flushing Meadows’ first round, lost her juniors match Tuesday to 17-year-old Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva 7-6 (9), 2-6, 6-1.

Bellis, the top-seeded girl, frequently shrieked at herself after bad shots, at times saying, ”Where’s your game?” and ”That is so lame!”

It was Bellis’ second straight match played on the Grandstand, the third-largest venue, to accommodate her newfound following.

After beating Cibulkova, the Australian Open runner-up, in the main draw to become the youngest player to win a U.S. Open match since 1996, she lost in three sets to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

"I didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but that’s tennis," she said. "I just have to move on."

Bellis’ victory over Cibulkova gave her made-in-a-minute stardom, a runaway Twitter feed and reporters from around the world calling her the future of American tennis. Her loss to 48th-ranked Diyas of Kazakhstan, along with her latest loss as the top-seeded girl, brought her back to reality.

Was it all too exhausting?

"Yeah, for sure, definitely," she said, still smiling under her sweat-stained visor. "But it’s kind of the price you pay when you do well."

The home-schooled youngster, whose favorite subject is Algebra II, says she loved her U.S. Open experience but now just wants to go home and relax.

"Just forget about it and move on," she said.

Her biggest lesson from her media crush?

"With all the craziness, my coach and my parents have been telling me, when you finish, just get everything done and just go right away," she said. "It will just really exhaust you if you stay here too late."