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Bellis Loses at U.S. Open Tennis as Djokovic, Williams Advance

Karolina Pliskova and Ana Ivanovic
Karolina Pliskova, left, of the Czech Republic beats Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during the 2014 US Open on Aug. 28, 2014. Photographer: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

American teen Catherine Bellis lost to Zarina Diyas in the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament after top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic both won in straight sets to cruise into the last 32.

Bellis, a 15-year-old amateur ranked 1,208th in the world, was beaten 6-3, 0-6, 6-2 last night by Diyas, a Kazakhstani ranked 48th in the world, at the National Tennis Center in New York.

“In the beginning of the match I was nervous and a little tight,” Bellis said. “The second set I became freer. Third set, she just played better than me. I wasn’t playing as well as I would have liked to, but it was a really good experience.”

Williams, who won the first of her five U.S. Open titles the same year Bellis was born, lost one game to fellow American Vania King, while Djokovic of Serbia earned a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Mathieu Paul-Henri of France.

In Arthur Ashe Stadium last night, 2012 champion Andy Murray, the No. 8 seed from the U.K., beat German Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 6-3, 6-4. Canadian No. 7 seed Eugenie Bouchard, who reached at least the semifinals of this year’s three previous major championships, then advanced with a 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4 win over Sorana Cirstea of Romania.

Fifth seed Milos Raonic of Canada needed a fourth-set tiebreaker to get past German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk.

Federer Plays

Five-time U.S. Open winner Roger Federer is back in action today at the season’s final Grand Slam, playing Sam Groth of Australia in a second-round match during the night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Fourth-seeded David Ferrer of Spain is also scheduled to play on the main court today, as are No. 5 Maria Sharapova of Russia, No. 9 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia and 19th seeded and two-time champion Venus Williams of the U.S., who plays No. 13 Sara Errani of Italy.

Women’s No. 2 seed Simona Halep of Romania plays on the Grandstand Court, as does No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark and men’s sixth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Bellis and Diyas arrived on Court 17 last night after Tommy Robredo, the No. 16 seed from Spain, recovered from two sets down to beat Simone Bolelli.

Nicknamed “CiCi,” Bellis two days ago defeated No. 12 seed Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia, a finalist at the 2014 Australian Open, in her Grand Slam debut to become the youngest winner at the tournament since Anna Kournikova reached the fourth round in 1996.

Fan Support

Bellis had strong support from the crowd last night in New York, where long lines of waiting fans snaked around Court 17 waiting to get in. After Diyas won the first set, Bellis had three service breaks in the second set and won seven straight games overall to take the lead.

Diyas then broke her opponent’s serve twice in the final set to open a 5-1 lead. Bellis held her serve for a last time before Diyas ended the contest on her third match point when Bellis sent a backhand long.

“I got a little tired,” said Bellis, who earned a spot in the U.S. Open by winning the U.S. Tennis Association Girls’ 18s national championship. “I made a few too many errors in the end.”

Diyas advances to a third-round meeting with No. 17 seed Ekaterina Makarova of Russia.

Williams, a five-time U.S. winner whose 17 Grand Slam titles are the most among active women, took 56 minutes to dispatch 81st-ranked King 6-1, 6-0. Playing in windy conditions, Williams double-faulted three times during her first service game, yet still managed to win it. King, 25, won just 15 of 45 service points in the loss.

Windy Conditions

“It’s so hard to play in the wind,” Williams said in a courtside interview. “I’m really happy to get through a solid match with the conditions.”

Williams, 32, will play a third straight American opponent in the third round, Varvara Lepchenko, who beat Mona Barthel of Germany 6-4, 6-0.

John Isner, the No. 13 men’s seed, also advanced while women’s No. 8 seed Ana Ivanovic was ousted by Karolina Pliskova.

Pliskova, a 22-year-old from the Czech Republic who’s ranked 42nd on the WTA Tour, advanced to the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career. She beat Ivanovic of Serbia, the 2008 French Open winner, 7-5, 6-4 in Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Another German

Isner beat Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, 6-2 and will face another German, No. 22 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, for the third straight year in the third round at the U.S. Open.

“Our matches the last two years have been pretty high quality,” Isner said. “I remember last year I wasn’t disappointed with how I played. He just played better than me. In a few days’ time I’m just going to have to do better than him.”

Ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and No. 10 Kei Nishikori of Japan also moved into the third round yesterday, as did Sam Querrey of the U.S.

Victoria Azarenka, the No. 16 seed from Belarus who lost to Williams in the last two U.S. Open finals, beat American Christina McHale 6-3, 6-2. American Shelby Rogers was beaten by Italian No. 11 seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 6-3 and Bellis’s loss means only four of 17 American women reached the third round.

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