Tennis: Suarez Navarro dreams of Olympic return after cancer treatment

BARCELONA: Former world number six Carla Suarez Navarro said she dreams of a return to competitive action following cancer treatment, and this year’s Tokyo Olympics would be the perfect stage to call time on her career.

Spaniard Suarez Navarro said in September that she had been diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, and would need to go through six months of chemotherapy. But the 32-year-old said on Twitter on Monday (Jan 25) that she had completed her final session.

The world number 85 last played in February 2020, and faces a race to qualify for the postponed Games, with the top 56 singles players qualifying based on rankings as of June, but Suarez Navarro is not giving up hope.

“I don’t want people to remember me in a hospital bed, so I’d like to go again into a big tournament,” Suarez Navarro told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It would be a dream to do that – an Olympic Games to say ‘bye’ to my tennis family and also all my tennis fans.”

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Suarez Navarro returned to practice in December with Italian Sara Errani in Barcelona.

“What doctors said is basically that tennis and doing a sport was good for me, so I decided to carry on with it,” Suarez Navarro said, adding she was now looking forward to her comeback to the circuit.

“I’ll feel so much joy and happiness when that moment comes. I’ll be thankful and a little bit nervous to be on court again.”

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