Carla Suarez Navarro To Play French Open Following Cancer Battle - UBITENNIS
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Carla Suarez Navarro To Play French Open Following Cancer Battle

The Spaniard has entered into the Grand Slam a month after finishing her treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma.

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Former top 10 player Carla Suarez Navarro will return to competitive tennis at the French Open next week for the first time since recovering from cancer.

 

The 32-year-old hasn’t played on the Tour since February 2020 after being diagnosed with an early stage of Hodgkin lymphoma during the second half of last year. An uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. Suarez Navarro has undergone extensive chemotherapy to treat the illness and was finally given the all clear just last month.

Now just weeks after being given the all clear, the Spaniard is already planning to return to the Tour with her focus being on Roland Garros. A tournament where she reached the quarter-finals on her debut back in 2008 and then again in 2014. Overall she has won 26 matches at the French Open which is more than any other Grand Slam.

“It makes me tremendously excited to be able to participate in Roland Garros. 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 onto the court and feeling again how special this tournament has always been for me,” said Suarez Navarro.
“Roland Garros is a tournament that 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 I can enjoy them to the fullest.” She added.

The former world No.6 had previously confirmed that she planned to retire from tennis but those plans were delayed. First, it was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the Tour to be suspended before she received her cancer diagnoses.

Suarez Navarro’s plans remain unchanged with her confirming the upcoming return will be a farewell Tour for her in some sense. It is unclear as to how many tournaments she will play or when she will finally step away from the sport for good.

“Tennis has given me many things and I have always wanted to say goodbye on a court. Being able to choose the last shot, having the ability to set myself a date is something I wanted from my heart. This was the illusion that has moved me to train hard in recent times,” she commented.

Suarez Navarro has reached 11 WTA finals during her career, winning titles at the 2014 Portugal Open and 2018 Qatar Open. She has also reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam on seven occasions and has earned more than $11.6M in prize money.

The French Open will start on Monday.

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Why Newly Married Elina Svitolina Has No Plans To Change Her Surname

The Ukrainian explains why she isn’t using her husband’s surname of Monfils just yet as she books her place in the third round at Tokyo 2020.

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Just over a week ago Elina Svitolina tied the knot with her long-time partner Gael Monfils at a ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

Shortly after the world No.6 took to social media and changed her name on Twitter to Elina Monfils as part of the tradition that the woman takes on the man’s name once they are married. As a consequence, various websites started to identify the Ukrainian under that name. Although she would rather that they don’t do such a thing.

“I don’t know why they changed my surname. Maybe they saw that I had changed it on my social networks,” Svitolina told BTU.
“I’m going to play as Svitolina till the very end of my professional career and will change it only after retirement.”

Svitolina explains she believes it is better if all of her achievements are made under the same name instead of two. So far in her career she has won 15 WTA titles, reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and has earned more than $20.5M in prize money.

I had numerous achievements and people know me as Svitolina. My father would be upset if I changed the surname and played as Monfils,” she joked.
“I am proud to be Svitolina and my tennis career will always be connected with this surname.”

Over the coming week the 26-year-old is hoping to add an Olympic medal to her resume. On Monday Svitolina survived a stern scare after coming back from a set down to defeat Ajla Tomljanović 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 and move into the third round of the tournament. Her win came on the day where there were shocks galore in the women’s draw with seeds Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova all crashing out.

Svitolina will play Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the next round whom she has lost to in two out of their three previous meetings.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz becomes the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since Kei Nishikori in 2008

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Carlos Alcaraz beat Richard Gasquet 6-2 6-2 in the final of the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag becoming the youngest ever champion at ATP Tour level since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori in Delray Beach in 2008 and the youngest Spanish ATP Tour champion since RafaelNadal in Sopot 2004. 

 

Alcaraz earned his first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead with an inside-in forehand winner and he never looked back by holding his next service games. The Spanish teenager broke serve in the third game as Gasquet made a double fault. Alcaraz converted his third break point in the fifth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Gasquet earned three break points but he was not able to convert them. 

“I had a lot of good moments in this tournament. I beat five great tennis players. I think that I grew up a lot in this tournament and  I keep a lot of experience from this tournament. It’s going to be useful for the future”, said Alcaraz. 

Gasquet was aiming to win his first ATP Tour title since s’Hertogenbosch in 2018. 

“It was tough for me to play with his full intensity. I had a tough match yesterday. It was tough, and especially with a guy like Carlos, who is playing really fast with a lot of energy and spin. He is playing unbeievable. He is only 18 and of course he had a great future and Ijust could not play at his level and his intensity”, said Gasquet. 

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