Spanish tennis player Carla Suarez Navarro said on Tuesday that she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, and will be going through six months of chemotherapy.
“I’m fine and calm at the moment, willing to face whatever comes,” the 31-year-old Suarez Navarro said in a video. “See you soon.”
Suarez Navarro, a former world No 6, had pulled out of the US Open last week due to illness. She was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma a few days ago. According to Mayo Clinic, in Hodgkin lymphoma, cells in the lymphatic system grow abnormally and may spread beyond it.
In a statement, she said doctors told her she had a small, curable lymphoma that was detected at an early stage.
Her announcement prompted an outpouring of support from well-wishes across the world.
Former doubles partner and fellow Spaniard Garbine Muguruza dedicated her US Open first-round win over Nao Hibino on Tuesday to Suarez Navarro.
“I want her to feel that we are behind her, that I am behind her, and I will go and see her at some point when it is fine,” Muguruza said.
“For me, it’s very special. We shared a decade of emotions and everything. It’s a shock for me, somebody so close that is going through this.”
Carla, you are such a fighter and I have no doubt you’ll get through this. Stay positive and come back soon. 🎾 muchas suerte 🙏🏼 https://t.co/lf4jpLFvts
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) September 1, 2020
Men’s world No 1 Novak Djokovic tweeted, “Carla, you are such a fighter and I have no doubt you’ll get through this. Stay positive and come back soon.”
“Carlita.. If I know somebody who can deal with this, it’s you!” Petra Kvitova, who won her opening U.S. Open posted on Twitter. “You are a fighter and great champion with lots of positivity. Sending you strength and hugs.”
Four-time major winner Kim Clijsters, who returned to the tour this year after a six-year sabbatical, tweeted, “Hi Carla, want to wish you nothing but strength and courage to take on this battle. Thinking of you and sending lots of positive energy.”
“Carla. I’m so shocked and sad to read this news,” said World No 2 Simona Halep. “I’m thinking of you and know that a strong and special person like you can get through this. Big kisses, Simo.”
There are reports that Suarez Navarro, known for her delectable single-handed backhand, was planning to retire from tennis at the end of the season.