DOHA — CiCi Bellis won her third straight match at the Qatar Total Open and it's only Monday. The 18-year-old ran through qualifying before ousting an injured Daria Kasatakina, 7-5, 4-1 ret.
Bellis may be just a teenager but she's already becoming a veteran on the in's and out's of WTA Tour life. She stresses the importance of taking breaks away from the courts, instead of rushing through her packed daily schedule.
"I love it here," Bellis said. "We're staying at an unbelievable hotel, one of the best tournament hotels I think all year. We've been down to the beach a lot. So nice, really relaxing; feels like we're on vacation."
"Every afternoon when we're done with practice, we go down to the beach and like lay there. It's so nice. You don't get to do that in a lot of places," Bellis said. "So it's so nice the hotel is really right on it. It's so nice. It's just important, taking your mind off the tournaments."
Last year, the world No. 48 lost in the qualifying in Doha, but thrived a week later in Dubai, reaching the quarterfinals with a win over then-world No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska. She'll certainly be a threat in the next round this week, which will be her first matchup against fellow American Madison Keys.
"I think I ended up being the one seed in qualies," Bellis said. "I wasn't even mad about it. That was one time that I wasn't even mad about having to play qualies, because the courts are a little different here; you have to get used to them. So it's really nice for me to have now three matches under my belt going into the next round."
This Week on Tennis Channel Plus 2/12
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