CiCi Bellis, the 15-year-old breakout star of the U.S. Open, and Sofia Sewing, an up-and-coming 15-year-old from Doral, cruised to 6-0, 6-0 wins in their opening matches of the Metropolia Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships on Monday.
They are among the hundreds of junior players competing this week in the prestigious 68-year-old tournament at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation.
Bellis is ranked No.2 in the world in Girls 18s and had no trouble getting past Russian Alissa Rudenko. The Atherton, California, native made headlines in late August when, as a wild card, she defeated Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the U.S. Open. She was the youngest player to win a match at the U.S. Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996, and the youngest American to win a U.S. Open match since Mary Joe Fernandez in 1986.
Sewing, who trains in Coral Gables at the Metropolia Tier One Academy, last week won the Girls 16s title at the Eddie Herr tournament in Bradenton. She remained in form Monday and didn’t drop a game against Marianela Landi of Argentina.
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Among the favorites in the Boys 18s is 16-year-old Stefan Kozlov of Pembroke Pines, the 2014 Wimbledon and Australian Open junior finalist. He was an Orange Bowl finalist last year and Monday won his opening match 6-1, 6-4 over Chien Hsun Lo of Chinese Taipei. Also headlining the boys’ draw is top-ranked Andrey Rublev of Russia, the 2014 French Open junior champion; 6-10 Reilly Opelka of Palm Coast, who upset Michael Mmoh in the Eddie Herr final on Sunday; Taylor Fritz, the 2014 Wimbledon junior semifinalist; and Alex Rybakov of Coral Springs.
The tournament runs through Sunday. Admission is free. For information, call 954-513-3540.
▪ Nova: Junior Chris Page was named Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week for his performance Saturday in the Sharks’ 86-82 win over the Tampa Spartans. Page tied his career high of 28 points in the 86-82 victory over Tampa. In his 32 minutes of play, Page went 10-of-18 shooting from the floor and 5 of 10 from three-point range. He was also the team’s leading playmaker with five assists and also grabbed five rebounds.