Catherine Bellis is only 17 years old and she's already positioning herself among big WTA names. Yesterday the American won her first WTA title at the Hawaii Open, winning her third straight tournament, and climbed to No.75 in the rankings. Little Tennis Stars is one of reader favorite sections on Women's Tennis Blog and I thought it would be nice to feature CiCi's childhood pics now, although it is a bit awkward since she's still so young.
Born in 1999, Bellis has already made her mark at Grand Slams, beating world No.65 Viktorija Golubic and world No.49 Shelby Rogers before falling to eventual champion Angelique Kerber in the third round of the 2016 US Open, and stunning seed No.12 Dominika Cibulkova at the 2014 US Open to become the youngest player to win a match at the tournament since Anna Kournikova's success in 1996.
Moreover, this season Bellis played the quarterfinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, falling to top seed Venus Williams, and the quarterfinals of the Couple Banque Nationale in Quebec City, losing to Julia Boserup.
In September 2014, Bellis was the top-ranked junior tennis player in the world.
Two and a half months ago Bellis turned pro and now she's the only WTA player under 18 in the Top 100.
Top WTA players, beware! Bellis is currently only 12 spots below former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic in the rankings, 21 spots behind former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic, and very close to many more big names.(photos via CiCi's Instagram)