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Kerber crushes young Bellis to reach fourth round

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Sep 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Catherine Bellis of the United States hits a backhand against Angelique Kerber of Germany (not pictured) on day five of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 2, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Catherine Bellis of the United States hits a backhand against Angelique Kerber of Germany (not pictured) on day five of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Angelique Kerber, enjoying a breakout season that has her challenging for world number one, crushed 17-year-old American qualifier CiCi Bellis 6-1 6-1 to reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open on Friday.

Bellis, the second youngest player in the women's field, won three qualifying matches and beat two players within the top 65 in the main draw but her dream run ended in a flood of Kerber winners and a rash of errors from the over-hitting teenager.

The second-seeded German took 55 minutes to close out the Day Five program at Flushing Meadows, nearly doubling the 33 points won by Bellis as she notched her WTA Tour-leading 50th match win of the season.

"Congrats to CiCi. She played a great tournament and for sure she will have a great future," the gracious Kerber said in an on-court interview at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Next up for Kerber is Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, a 6-3 6-4 winner over 22nd seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Kerber and Kvitova have split their eight career meetings.

(Editing by Andrew Both)


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