32-year-old Spanish player will play in French Open again after cancer

Suarez Navarro said, “Maybe with time, I’ll see it differently, but now I’m not very happy.” “I was here to win that match.”

Suárez Navarro returned to professional tennis after chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and was defeated by 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens on the court before losing 3–6, 7–6(4), 6–4 in a first-round match. Come close. Simon Matthews.

When it ended after about 2 1/2 hours, Stephens hugged Suárez Navarro over the net.

“Obviously she’s gone through a lot and we’re all happy that she’s better and healthier and able to play again, which I think is obviously the most important thing,” said Stephens, who in 2018 Was runner-up at Roland Garros. . “We all love him and love being with him.”

Suárez Navarro was ranked as high as No. 6, won two WTA singles titles and reached the quarter-finals at Grand Slam tournaments seven times – twice in Paris.

But she had not played professionally since February 2020, promising herself that she would return to play in the French Open.

Her road back initially involved hitting soft tennis balls for just 20 minutes at a time. The full exercise had not started until March.

She announced in April that she had been cured of cancer and later said it would be her last season on the tour.

“A long time. Really tough moments. Tough months,” Suarez Navarro said on Tuesday. “But, well, every time, all I had in mind was that I wanted to be here.”

Venus says goodbye – and hello

Venus Williams has been in singles at the French Open after losing in the first round for the fourth year in a row.

The 40-year-old is about to debut in American doubles – with a new partner, 17-year-old Coco Gauff.

“You know, I think we’re hoping to be a perfect match,” Williams said about teaming up with Gough, who defeated him in singles at Wimbledon in 2019 and the Australian Open in 2020. Definitely expecting him to do all the work. “

Williams has won seven Grand Slam singles titles and was runner-up to her younger sister, Serena, in Paris in 2002. Williams’ two siblings have also won 14 Grand Slam doubles trophies as a pair.

When asked about her recent singles record at Roland Garros after a 6-3, 6-1 loss by Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova on Tuesday, Williams said: “I think it happened. So moving on. “

many happy returns

The last time Ann Lee competed at Roland Garros, she lost to an opponent ranked 182 in qualifying for the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

It left a bitter taste and the 20-year-old American wanted to erase the bad memory upon his return.

“It’s funny because I played there on the same court – also with the same referee – last year,” Lee said. “So, I was like: I have to redeem myself.”

That’s exactly what he did.

As a rising star, Lee did not suffer a break point on Court 9, losing only six points in the opening set and hitting a total of 17 winners to beat Margarita Gasparian 6–0, 6–1 in the second round. logging in. Just 46 minutes on debut in his main draw.

Ranked 75, Lee recently returned from a two-month leave due to a stomach injury.

“I kind of had to back off,” she said. “I was in Orlando and I took some time off and really wanted to fully recover, because an ab is a difficult place. I did some good preparation on the soil there and I was really excited when I got here “

Runner-up at Wimbledon’s junior event as a teenager, Lee isn’t a natural on clay, but says she has prepared well for the French Open and feels more comfortable on a slower surface.

“It was my first time on red clay last year, so it was a little uncomfortable, a little unfamiliar,” she said. “But I feel great now.”

——— AP Tennis Writer Howard Fendrich in Washington contributed to this report.


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