NEW YORK (AP) — For CiCi Bellis, the media storm is over, and that's just fine with her.
A week after the 15-year-old Californian became the darling of the U.S. Open for pulling a massive upset, she was in a small room Tuesday surrounded by a handful of reporters asking about her second-round loss — in the junior draw.
"I didn't play as well as I wanted to, but that's tennis," she said. "I just have to move on."
Bellis' victory over Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova gave her made-in-a-minute stardom, a runaway Twitter feed and reporters from around the world calling her the future of American tennis. Her loss in the second round to 48th-ranked Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan, along with her latest loss as the top-seeded girl, brought her back to reality.
Was it all too exhausting?
"Yeah, for sure, definitely," she said, still smiling under her sweat-stained visor. "But it's kind of the price you pay when you do well."
The home-schooled youngster, whose favorite subject is Algebra II, says she loved her U.S. Open experience but now just wants to go home and relax. "Just forget about it and move on," she said.
Her biggest lesson from her media crush?
"With all the craziness, my coach and my parents have been telling me, when you finish, just get everything done and just go right away," she said. "It will just really exhaust you if you stay here too late."
With that, she was gone.
— By James Martinez — www.twitter.com/jfmartinez