CiCi Bellis is playing in her first ever pro tournament this week on grass at the Mallorca Open.
But the young American has taken to the surface with aplomb – and has arrived in her first WTA semifinal.
The latest milestone in her burgeoning career came courtesy of a 6-3 6-2 thumping of Kristyna Pliskova on Friday.
Bellis was at her shotmaking peak, even playing a running forehand winner while losing her footing.
“It’s definitely one of the biggest achievements so far in my career,” Bellis told wtatennis.com. “Grass suits my game. I would say my movement was a big strength (today) – I think I got to a lot of balls and my defence was really good.”
In the semifinals Bellis will take on Julia Goerges, who won an all-German battle against Sabine Lisicki. Lisicki was playing her first event since November 2016 after being sidelined with an inflamed bicep tendon.
The other semifinal will pit No.2 seed Anastasija Sevastova against third seed Caroline Garcia.
Sevastova overcame Ana Konjuh – Victoria Azarenka’s conqueror – in a third-set tiebreak while Garcia stopped Roberta Vinci 6-2 7-6(8).