In the 13 months since American Catherine Bellis last played a WTA match, the former WTA Newcomer of the Year has been plagued by a career-threatening injury. 

The American, who tuns 20 today, opened up on her recent ordeal in a candid social media post, on the Instagram account "Behind the Racquet."

The initiative, started by American ATP player Noah Rubin, aims to offer a unique look at the perspecitve of touring tennis players

In the post, Bellis' opens up on four surgeries she's had since reaching a career-high ranking of World No.35 back in 2017, the year she was awarded the tour's top newcomer award.

However, elbow problems and wrist surguries were just the start of the former teenage prodigy's struggles, which she articulates in detail in the post.

Most recently, just this spring, Bellis needed a metal plate, put in her arm for corrective reasons, removed to further set back her return to the courts.

"The hardest things have been hitting and getting close to normality and then just being totally set back," she writes.

"Tennis is everything to me. I wouldn’t have done this if I didn’t love this sport.”

Bellis has been out of action since last year's Miami Open, where she lost in the first round to Victoria Azarenka.

In her WTA main draw debut at age 15 in 2014, Bellis upset No.12 seed Dominika Cibulkova who was the runner-up at the Australian Open earlier in the year, and became the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since Anna Kournikova reached the fourth round of the 1996 event.