Most 16-year-olds aren't expected to become future superstars.
In fact, most of them would rather spend a summer lounging by a pool with their friends or soaking in the limited free time doing all the nothing they can.
Most 16-year-olds, however, aren't CiCi Bellis.
In August of 2014, Bellis, then 15 and relatively unknown around the tennis circuit, defeated 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova in three sets at the U.S. Open to become the youngest main-draw match winner since Anna Kournikova in 1996.
The New York Times called her a "prodigy" and she graced the pages of numerous other outlets applauding her upset.
But is it truly a phenomenon when a teenage prodigy finds success? Serena and Venus Williams did it and to this day still dominate the sport. Melanie Oudin, who coincidentally is also playing in the Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships, was a former world junior No. 2 before life intervened and she since has vanished from the radar.
With that success comes immense pressure, which Bellis, despite her young age, simply shrugs off.
"The top players obviously have so much more experience," she said over the phone on Sunday as she traveled to Lexington with her family. "I think my competitive nature and the way I compete on the court makes up for that — in the way that I hold myself on the court."
That sentiment is the lure of Bellis.
Described as mature beyond her age with a personality as high-energy and fierce as her demeanor on the court, Bellis has shined as an amateur tennis player. Ranked No. 167 in singles, Bellis, who will remain an amateur as she contemplates attending Stanford University, is 32-14 with three International Tennis Federation titles and was named the 2014 ITF Junior World Champion.
Asked what opponents say about playing her, she said, "I've never been asked that before. I think I'm very aggressive so you have to beat me with really good shots and better play. I hope it's hard to beat me."
The questions she usually fields circulate around her experiences playing others. Like when she squared off against No. 1 Serena Williams at the Miami Open in March. Bellis lost 6-1, 6-1 but came away with new experiences and fans.
"I was nervous," she said after the match. "I didn't know how my game would hold up against her, because I have never played her before — I mean, she's my idol. She's from America. She's No. 1 in the world. She's the best of all time. It's pretty scary playing her."
Bellis, a resident of Atherton, Calif., hopes her game holds up throughout this week as she leaves her quaint neighborhood just south of San Francisco and travels to the Bluegrass for the USTA Challenger-level event.
It will be her first Kentucky Bank Tennis Championships.
"I've heard it's really nice," she said. "It's going to be really fun."
With a stacked field standing in her way, Bellis can only hope that some of that U.S. Open magic still remains.
"All the players at the Kentucky tournament have been good," she said. " I have to be ready for anyone, but I think this tournament's a little stronger than the last couple."
But as Michael Jessup, a San Francisco tennis coach told John Branch of The New York Times last year, Bellis is ready for anyone.
"I've coached a lot of really good players, but she stood out, with her spunk, her spark. She didn't see pressure. She saw a challenge. She saw it as fun."