New York: Fifteen-year-old Catherine 'CiCi' Bellis caused the biggest upset of the US Open on Tuesday as she knocked out Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova, the 12th seed — but it cost her $60,000.
USA's Catherine Bellis celebrates her win over Dominika Cibulkova. Pic/AFP
Bellis, the world 1,208, beat the Slovakian 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to become the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
But with the home-schooled Californian looking ahead to a college education, she was unable to claim the $60,420 (Rs 36 lakh approximately) prize money guaranteed for reaching Round Two which would have contravened her amateur status.
"I'm definitely going to stay an amateur right now to keep my options open for college, in case an injury or something happens. But I'd love to be a pro one day," said the girl from the wine-growing Napa Valley in northern California.
"I don't really think about it (prize money). I try to just focus on the tennis rather than anything else, especially thinking about something after the match, like what's on the line for the match".
Wild card entrant
Playing just her 13th pro-level match, the American teenager was awarded a wildcard into the US Open by winning the US under-18 championships.