Tennis: Tennis: Suarez Navarro heads to Paris after recovering from cancer


(Reuters) – Former world number six Carla Suarez Navarro has confirmed her participation at the French Open, which starts on Sunday, a month after she said she had been cured of cancer.

The 32-year-old Spaniard said in September that she was diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma and would need to go through six months of chemotherapy.

“It makes me tremendously excited to be able to participate in Roland Garros,” she said on the website of the Spanish tennis federation.

“I have been working these last few months to give myself the opportunity to compete one last time in Paris.

“I am looking forward to jumping on to the court and feeling again how special this tournament has always been for me.”

Suarez Navarro, who is currently ranked 118th in the world, returned to practice in December and said last month she had completed her treatment and was cured.

She had said in late 2019 that she intended to quit at the end of 2020 but now wants to keep playing after her final season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and health issues.

The two-time French Open quarter-finalist, known for one of the best backhands in the women’s circuit, had planned to compete at last year’s U.S. Open but withdrew a week before the Grand Slam was to begin.

She revealed her diagnosis a week later, saying doctors told her she had a small, curable lymphoma that was detected at an early stage.

“Tennis has given me many things and I have always wanted to say goodbye on a court,” she said.

“Roland Garros has given me some of the best moments of my career. My first great result was produced on these courts, I have very good memories after all these years and it is a joy to be able to come for the last time to compete in Paris.

“They are going to be some very beautiful days and I hope to be able to enjoy them to the maximum.”

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Berhampore, India; editing by Stephen Coates)

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