Playing her first tournament in almost 20 months after being side-lined by multiple arm injuries, American young gun Cici Bellis returned to action at the 125K Oracle Challenger Series in Houston, Texas. What makes her recovery amazing is the fact that Bellis was told by doctors that she would never play tennis again.
"I got an MRI and then three separate other doctors said that I was gonna be fine," Bellis said. "So I took that and ran with it. I'm fine right now and I'm feeling really good. I don't have any pain anywhere.
So right after that appointment that I had, my team and I decided we were going to try and make a tournament this year. Just to get to a tournament was the main goal and try and get through a match. So about a month ago was when we decided we were going to try and get here."
She further added, "It's been incredible coming back this week and just being at a tournament," Bellis said. "Being able to compete again has been definitely one of the best moments of the last year for me.
I've just been so excited each match, even the warmup for each match, being prepared beforehand has been so fun to be able to do that again”. "I've been doing everything. I've been trying to, especially in the last few weeks, play as many sets and practice matches as I can to try and replicate a tournament, but it's never fully the same as a tournament”.
"When I got here I was so sore after my first match and emotions and nerves and everything else that's involved in tournaments that you can't really replicate in practice. But I tried to do the best that I could to make it as much like a match as I could”.
She is looking at a healthy start to the 2020 season. "I don't know exactly which tournaments I'm going to play yet, but definitely going to start there," Bellis said. "We haven't really decided after that.
I think it's going to be a lot based on how I'm doing, how I'm feeling, and we're just going to go, day by day, week by week, for sure."