Unlikely winner CiCi Bellis wows U.S. Open

CiCi Bellis of the United States returns a shot against Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia during their women's singles first round match on Day Two of the 2014 U.S. Open. Streeter Lecka / Getty

If you've never heard the name CiCi Bellis before, well this is the first time.

But it probably won't be the last.

The teenager came from out of nowhere Tuesday to become the youngest winner of a U.S. Open tennis match in 18 years.

On paper, Bellis' chances of winning did not look good. The 15-year old, ranked 1,208th in the world, was taking on the 12th-seeded player, Dominika Cibulkova.

Bellis was as surprised as anyone with the win.

"I am still speechless right now," she said. "I have no words. I am so happy to be here and I can't believe that I got through that," she said after her victory.

Tournament officials were so caught off guard they had to scramble cameras to her court. The victory made a change at the U.S. Open in terms of atmosphere.

"She was on Court 6, which was absolutely packed to the rafters yesterday as people started to understand what might be transpiring, and one thing sort of led to another," said tournament director David Brewer. "It really fed off each other and she added a lot of luster yesterday."

Bellis was born the year the tournament's No. 1 seed, Serena Williams, won her first U.S. Open.

"There's a 15-year-old who won today and I guess I played here 15 years ago and she was able to win so that's so awesome for American tennis," said Williams.

She is adjusting to her newfound fame.

"Words cannot describe," Bellis laughed.

She is also focused on her future. She turned down the $60,000 prize for her first-round win ... to keep her amateur status.

"I think that I am definitely going to stay an amateur right now to keep my options open for college in case of like an injury or something like that happens," Bellis explained. "I just want to keep all of my options open just to be sure, but I would love to be a pro one day."

But her father says if she wins the Open and the $3 million prize money, they might reconsider their position.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

Comments

Follow Us

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

On Twitter