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CiCi Bellis, 2017 WTA Newcomer of the Year, announces retirement from tennis

CiCi Bellis, the 2017 WTA Newcomer of the Year and former world No. 35, announced her retirement from professional tennis Wednesday.

In an Instagram post, the 22-year-old cited an ongoing arm injury as the reason for her decision.

"Last year after seeing little to no improvement with my arm, I made the decision to stop playing tennis," Bellis wrote. "I had been in the same cycle of rehab, training and injuries for three plus years and mentally/physically just couldn't do it anymore. I absolutely love the sport and have nothing but the best memories from my time playing, but it was definitely time to move on."

Bellis first made a name for herself as a 15-year-old at the 2014 US Open, where she became the youngest player to win a match at the tournament since Anna Kournikova in 1996. She turned professional soon after.

Bellis reached the third round of the 2016 US Open and matched that result at the 2017 French Open. She recorded her first win over a top-10 player in 2017 over then-No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska in Dubai and was named the WTA's Newcomer of the Year at the end of the season.

Plagued by wrist and elbow injuries, Bellis missed the majority of the 2018 and 2019 seasons and underwent a series of surgeries. Bellis told reporters in 2020 that she had one procedure that involved the breaking of her arm to cut and shorten her ulna and put in a metal plate.

She made a comeback during the 2020 season and reached the third round at the Australian Open and the second round at the US Open, but she has played sparingly since.

Bellis has been pursuing her undergraduate degree through WTA's partnership with Indiana University East and said she is set to graduate in the spring. She plans to next obtain a Master of Business Administration degree and is currently working as an investment analyst.