Doha 2017: Qualifying. Americans Everywhere

Cici Bellis (USA) with Ed Ryan
Cici Bellis (USA) with Ed Ryan – Click here for her USTA Blog from Doha

Americans Everywhere

While the United States Fed Cup Team prepares to go toe-to-toe with Germany in Maui this weekend, Team USA is all over the qualifying draw here in Doha…

Coco Vandeweghe, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Alison Riske and Shelby Rogers are in Hawaii to take-on Team Germany, featuring Andrea Petkovic, Julia Georges, Laura Siegemund and Carina Witthoeft. World #2, US Open Champion and Germany’s ace, Angelique Kerber is already here in Qatar preparing for main-draw play.

Saturday’s Qatar Total Open qualifying matches include SIX Americans:

[1] Christina Mchale (USA) vs. [WC] Ons Jabeur (TUN)

[3] Lauren Davis (USA) vs. Julia Boserup (USA)

Cici Bellis (USA) vs. [5] Shuai Peng (CHN)

Vania King (USA) vs. [8] Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)

Madison Brengle (USA) vs. Danka Kovinic (MNE)

Matches start at 11:00. Cici will kick-start the day on Court-1 while Madison Brengle will launch play on Court-4.

While Team USA features six athletes in the qualifying draw, four Russians and three players from Japan will take a stab at reaching the main draw this weekend. Three-time Doha Semifinalist, Jelena Jankovic – who has slipped to World #50 – earned a wild card into qualifying. As the #2 qualifying seed, she’ll face Japan’s Nao Hibino in the second match on Court-1.

Cici Bellis

It’s great to see Cici Bellis finally get back to match competition. Last year was huge for the 17-year-old. After reaching the 3rd-Round of the US Open, she signed with IMG, turned pro, then won three consecutive titles. During the pre-season in December, she pulled her hamstring during an afternoon practice session and has been sidelined since. Cici is blogging for the USTA from Doha. Click here every Wednesday for the latest updates from the rising American star.

* How quickly we forget: Cici is the young American who won hearts in Flushing three years ago, when at 14-years-old, she defeated the 12-seed and Australian Open Finalist Dominika Cibulkova in the first round.

* Note the photo at the top of the page. That is Cici Bellis with Ed Ryan (former director with the U.S. Olympic Committee). Written on the board behind her is a paraphrased quote credited to motivational speaker, author and athletic coach, Frank Dick: “You are the best in the world at being who you are. So to touch your dreams, don’t ever try to be someone else; just be better at being you.”