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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bellis Defeats Radwanska in Dubai; French Federation Announces French Open Junior Wild Card Event in US; Eight Americans Advance at Rancho Santa Fe; New USTA D-I Rankings

Seventeen-year-old CiCi Bellis picked up the first Top 10 win of her career today at the WTA Premier event in Dubai, defeating No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. Bellis, who beat top 50 players Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan in the first round and Laura Siegemund of Germany in the second round, called it "the biggest win of my life."  An argument could be made that her win over Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia in the first round of the 2014 US Open remains the most significant, but certainly getting her first Top 10 win on the heels of two Top 50 wins is an important milestone.

Greg Garber of ESPN.com spoke to Bellis after her win, as did the WTA. Radwanska also was interviewed for the WTA and gives her thoughts on Bellis' game. Next up for Bellis is No. 10 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark.  Lauren Davis has also reached the quarterfinals after beating Ekaterina Makarova of Russia today. All three of Davis's wins have come after dropping the first set.

The French Tennis federation is distributing a 2017 French Open Junior Championships wild card via tournaments held in six countries, including the US.  The United States event will be at the Boca West Country Club April 19-22 on red clay.  The winners will play off against those from Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea and India for a main draw wild card into the junior championships. The USTA will extend the invitations to compete in the event.  The release is here.

Heavy rain in Florida kept any tennis from being played Wednesday at the $15,000 Futures in Indian Harbour Beach, with 10 first round matches yet to be finished.  Those matches and all second round matches are scheduled for Thursday.

At the $25,000 Women's Pro Circuit event in Rancho Santa Fe California, eight US women have advanced to the second round: Kayla Day[1], Sonya Kenin[4], Claire Liu, Allie Sanford, Danielle Collins, Caroline Dolehide and qualifiers Maria Sanchez and Chanelle Van Nguyen.  Dolehide and Collins will play in one second round match Thursday; wild card Sanford and Sanchez will face off in the other all-US second rounder.  Also advancing are Canadian teens Katherine Sebov, a qualifier, and Bianca Andreescu, who beat No. 2 seed Catalina Pella of Argentina 6-2, 6-2.

Former USC star Yannick Hanfmann won three matches to qualify for the €64,000 ATP Challenger in Bergamo Italy and was drawn against top seed Andreas Seppi of Italy, currently 72 in the ATP rankings, in the opening round of the main draw. The 25-year-old German picked up his first Top 100 win in a 6-4, 6-2 victory, then reached his first Challenger quarterfinal with a 6-7(5), 7-6(5), 6-3 win over Germany's Daniel Brands today. He will face No. 7 seed Quentin Halys of France next.

The latest USTA Division I team poll came out today, a day after the ITA's first rankings done by computer, and it does not feature the big rises and falls of some teams found in the ITA rankings.  For the complete list of Top 25 teams, click here.

Women: (points in parentheses)
1.Florida (150)
2.North Carolina (143)
3.Ohio State (138)
4.Stanford (131)
5.Georgia (124)
6.Oklahoma State (120)
7.California (107)
8.Michigan (105)
9.Texas Tech (104)
10.Pepperdine (98)

1.Virginia (150)
2.Ohio State (144)
3.Wake Forest (138)
4.North Carolina (130)
5.California (124)
6.Oklahoma (112)
7.UCLA (109)
8.Florida (106)
9.Texas (104)
10.USC (101)