CiCi Bellis has announced that she is turning pro instead of playing college tennis at Stanford.

The 17-year-old reached the decision following her third-round showing at the U.S. Open, which could allow her to keep her $140,000 in prize money. Though Grand Slam rules say a player must declare herself professional before the start of the tournament, the USTA has previously allowed players to keep prize money after turning professional.


Bellis had indicated during the tournament that she was reconsidering her college decision, given her tour success. She is currently No. 120 in the rankings.

Bellis will be represented by IMG. She plans to keep working with her USTA coach in Florida and train at the USTA center.

"Nothing is changing involving my coaching or where I’m training," she told The Mercury News.

Bellis believes that she’s ready to play on the WTA tour full-time.

“I’ve been working really hard,” she said, “and all my hard work is beginning to pay off right now. But I think I can do whatever I want to in tennis. If I keep working hard, I think I can be one of the best players in the world.''