TENNIS star Carla Suarez Navarro is set to play at the French Open just a month after being given the all clear from cancer.
The Spaniard, 32, had planned to retire at the end of last season before her diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma.
Carla Suarez Navarro plans to return to competitive tennis at the French Open a month after her cancer all-clearCredit: Getty
She announced she had the uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system in September.
However, after successfully completing seven months of treatment, the former world No6 wanted to bow out on her own terms after a final swansong.
And Navarro will make her return to competitive action at Roland Garros, which starts on Sunday.
She said: “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 on to the court and feeling again how special this tournament has always been for me.”
Gran Canaria-born Navarro, known for having one of the best backhands in tennis, has a protected ranking because of her health battle.
It means she is still 118th in the world despite not playing a tournament since February 2020.
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And she will not need to go through qualifying to secure her place in the ladies’ singles main draw.
Navarro also dreams of representing Spain at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics before hanging up her racket.
The 2008 and 2014 French Open quarter-finalist added: “Tennis has given me many things and I have always wanted to say goodbye on the court.
“My first great result was produced on these tracks, 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.”
The Spanish star was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2020 but underwent successful treatmentCredit: Twitter / @CarlaSuarezNava
What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
HODGKIN LYMPHOMA is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands spread throughout your body.
The lymphatic system is part of your immune system. Clear fluid called lymph flows through the lymphatic vessels and contains infection-fighting white blood cells, known as lymphocytes.
The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.
Hodgkin lymphoma can develop at any age, but it mostly affects young adults in their early 20s and older adults over the age of 70. Slightly more men than women are affected.
Around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.
Hodgkin lymphoma is a relatively aggressive cancer and can quickly spread through the body. Despite this, it’s also one of the most easily treated types of cancer.