CiCi Bellis blog: A good start, lots to improve

March 2, 2017 11:31 AM

CiCi Bellis turned pro last September after reaching the third round of the 2016 US Open. The 17-year-old California native first gained national attention in 2014, when, at the age of 14, she upset No. 12 seed and reigning Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova in the first round of the US Open for her first Grand Slam win. Since then, the 2014 ITF Junior World Champion won her first WTA title at the $125,000 Hawaii Open in Honolulu in November 2016 and has claimed six singles and two doubles titles on the ITF Circuit. Bellis, who is currently ranked a career-high No. 56 in the WTA rankings after defeating world No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska en route to the Dubai quarterfinals, wrote a popular blog on during last year's tournament and picks up her blogging on now. In her latest entry, she talks about her recent success in Doha and Dubai and what is next for her on tour.

By CiCi Bellis

In last week’s blog, I said I was planning to stay an extra day in Dubai to see and do everything the city had to offer, but I didn’t. Instead, I hopped on a plane a few hours after my last match and headed straight back to Orlando. I usually leave town as soon as I am out of a tournament. As enticing as the shopping, camel rides, indoor ski slope, amusement park and ice skating rink were, I wanted to finish the week strong on court with Anibal on Saturday and then take Sunday off like our normal schedule. By doing so, I knew I'd be ready to go all out on Monday.

Doha and Dubai were a good start to the year for me. I got in six matches and feel lucky to have played against so many great players. My hamstring held up perfectly, and I have a clear picture of where my game is at right now. Because of my injury, I wasn't able to do any lower-body fitness in December and January. That area will need to be a top priority for me going forward if I'm going to be able to play multiple tough matches in a row.

Anibal and I are working incredibly hard this week to get ready for Indian Wells. Nothing is more motivating to me than success – even if it’s just a little bit. Losses motivate some people, but doing well motivates me to do even better.

I had some of my best junior results in Indian Wells and can't wait to get back there. The past two years, because of tournament restrictions, I had to choose between Indian Wells and Miami. Miami always offered me a wild card first, so I played there. I am so excited that I can be part of both tournaments this year, and the best news is that I didn’t need a wild card from either!

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