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August 28, 2014

Catherine Bellis


Z. DIYAS/C. Bellis
6-3, 0-6, 6-2
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the twists and turns of this match and what you think it eventually depended on?
CICI BELLIS: I think in the beginning of the match I was, you know, nervous and I was a little tight. Then the second set I became freer. Third set, I mean, she just kind of played better than me. I wasn't playing as well as I would have liked to, but it was a really good experience, I think.

Q. What do you think this experience will mean when you look back on it?
CICI BELLIS: I mean, I think just playing, you know, my first US Open and just having, you know, that under my belt, then it will be easier, you know, the next time I play.

Q. Did you get tired in the third set emotionally or physically?
CICI BELLIS: Yeah, I got a little tired. But I think definitely I could have made more balls in the court and made a few too many errors in the end.

Q. That was your first tournament at this level. What, if anything, surprised you the most about these few days?
CICI BELLIS: I think what surprised me is that I could really, like, stay with these pros. And I think today if I had, you know, played a little bit better, it would have been a different result. But, yeah, I mean, definitely just that I can, you know, play with them is really good.

Q. What about off the court?
CICI BELLIS: Uhm, like in the locker room or...

Q. Anything about the past few days that maybe surprised you.
CICI BELLIS: Not much off the court. I think just on the court, they compete a lot better than juniors. They're a lot more focused, for sure.

Q. You beat the Australian Open finalist in the first round. What did you learn about how good all these women are and what did you think of her game?
CICI BELLIS: Yeah, I mean, I think ranking really doesn't matter. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. And so, uhm, I think definitely ranking has no bearing on the match. Whoever comes out and plays better that day is going to win, for sure.

Q. What did you think of her game?
CICI BELLIS: She was good. She was aggressive. She, you know, took advantage of opportunities. When she did, she played well.

Q. What's the best message or text or email you got?
CICI BELLIS: Just, you know, go out and have fun, do as best as you can. That's what I did, so it was good.

Q. Do you think someday you could possibly lift up the trophy at this tennis tournament?
CICI BELLIS: You know, I'd love to one day. But I'd have to work a lot harder, in the next couple years work really hard, you know, and keep doing what I'm doing.

Q. How would you describe the last 48 hours of your life?
CICI BELLIS: A lot different than before, for sure. But I loved it. I mean, with everybody, you know, supporting me, supporting, you know, like American tennis, it's been really great.

Q. How about playing in the juniors next week, what do you think that experience will be like after what you've just experienced?
CICI BELLIS: I think it's definitely going to give me more confidence, you know, going into the juniors and definitely believing that I can beat, you know, whoever I play in juniors, for sure, if I play well. So I think it just gave me a lot more confidence.

Q. If you had to summarize this whole experience up in one word or phrase?
CICI BELLIS: Unbelievable. Like this whole experience has been unbelievable, like mind-blowing. It's been crazy. It's been like the best couple days of my life, so...

Q. What are you most eager to get working on?
CICI BELLIS: Just definitely being a little bit more solid off the ground and trying to make my serve a little bit more of a weapon.

Q. What was the atmosphere like for you tonight being on that court, hearing the crowd?
CICI BELLIS: Yeah, it was great. I mean, I love when people watch me and support me like that. So it really, you know, helped me a lot.

Q. What's the best thing you've heard said about you the last couple of days, and how has it made you feel?
CICI BELLIS: I think just people saying that, like, I'm going to be the future of American tennis. I mean, that's what I've wanted to be since, you know, I was a little kid. I think that definitely makes me want to, you know, work really hard and try to become that.

Q. This whole process, almost seems a certain effortless quality to it. Do you think in some way you're a natural, you're born to do this?
CICI BELLIS: Uhm, I mean, this is what I want to do, so if it's, you know, what I'm supposed to do it will be, uhm, even better.

Q. You just used the phrase 'ever since I was a little kid.' What age are we talking about?
CICI BELLIS: Like seven.

Q. What's the best thing your mom has said to you recently?
CICI BELLIS: Just go out and have fun. It doesn't matter. We're also here for the juniors, to play juniors. That's definitely right now my number one priority. Pros is just icing on the cake.

Q. Was she at the match today?
CICI BELLIS: Huh-uh. She gets too nervous. She doesn't watch my matches.

Q. What would it take for her to show up?
CICI BELLIS: I don't think she could.

Q. One way or the other, she never watches?
CICI BELLIS: No. She hasn't in a long time.

Q. What did you hear from her after the match, if you've heard from her?
CICI BELLIS: My phone died, so I haven't had any communication with anybody.

Q. Your dad was there, right?

Q. Have you spoken with your father?

Q. What did you say to each other?
CICI BELLIS: You know, he was just really proud of me, everything that I'm doing. Doesn't matter. We're here for the juniors. So just move on. It's okay.

Q. Did your phone die because you forgot to charge it or you were too busy?
CICI BELLIS: I was like at 81% when I got here. I don't know how it died so quickly. I mean, I wasn't on it too much.

Q. You had to wait a long time, took the court late. Were you nervous before that, eager to get out there? How did that impact you?
CICI BELLIS: I was really excited to play today. I think that was good. The match before me, you know, took a while. But there was no like set time for my match, so it wasn't really like 'late,' so it was okay.

Q. People got to the court today about 10 a.m. for you.
CICI BELLIS: That's crazy. I had no idea that people did that. That's an honor to have people doing that for me.

Q. You mentioned the idea of being the future of American tennis. What do you think that will take to really live up to that incredible role?
CICI BELLIS: Just definitely working as hard as I can and a little bit of luck, I guess, too.

Q. The necklace you're wearing, is that any kind of good luck charm?
CICI BELLIS: One of my really good friends got it for me. But it's been my good luck charm for the last couple tournaments.
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