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Carla Suárez announces comeback for Roland Garros after cancer battle
26 May 2021 @ 22:06

SPANISH tennis star Carla Suárez set off for Paris today (Tuesday) ready for the French Open at city's Roland Garros stadium, her first tournament in 17 months.

The last time Carla, from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, played professionally was in Doha on February 25, 2020, just before the pandemic brought the world sporting calendar to an abrupt halt.

And when the WTA circuit restarted at the end of last year, Carla was in treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

She was diagnosed just days before her 32nd birthday – which is September 3 – and spent months going through chemotherapy, with her last session being on January 25.

By early April, she was already back in training and quietly confident of getting through to the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

Carla, who finished last year as WTA world number 44, had actually been planning to retire from the sport in 2020, after the Olympics – but as the Games were sacrificed to Covid in the same way as all other global sports, it is likely she would have reconsidered giving up even if she had not been diagnosed with cancer.

At the moment, her plan is to retire after 2021, but as she is determined to 'go out with a bang', her results over the rest of the season may mean she ends up playing it by ear.

It could be she is not back to her best, and that by treating 2021 as a 'mock exam', another year on could see her return to form and providing a more satisfying scenario for calling time on her career.

“I'm tremendously excited to be able to take part in the Roland Garros,” Suárez says.

“I've been working these last few months to give myself a chance to compete one last time on clay in Paris.

“I'm very keen to jump back onto the court and once again feel how special this tournament has always been for me.

Carla Suárez the last time she played at Roland Garros, in 2019 (photo: Si.Robi/Wikimedia Commons)

“Tennis has given me lots, and I've always wanted my farewell to be on the court; being able to choose the last stroke, being able to put a date on it myself, is something I've always wanted from the heart. This was the desire that has spurred me on to train...



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