Affected by cancer of the lymphathic system in 2020, the Spanish Carla Suarez Navarro fought for long months against the disease. Now healed, she will replay her first match this Tuesday at Roland Garros.
There will be great emotion this Tuesday at the end of the afternoon on the Simonne-Mathieu court, when Carla Suarez Navarro (32) enters this magnificent enclosure. On September 1, 2020, the Spaniard threw a cold by announcing in a video tweet – shot in a hospital room – that she was suffering from Hodgkin lymphoma and that she was engaging in a long fight. At this moment, his career seemed to be buried.
Unanimously appreciated on the circuit, the player had received a mountain of messages of support. She had eight chemotherapy sessions and fifteen radiotherapy sessions to beat the cancer. A painful ordeal, as she recently recounted in an interview with L’Equipe. “The sixth session of chemotherapy put me completely flat, she said. I spent three to four days in a row, bedridden, extremely tired, I could not eat anything.”
After announcing her recovery, Carla Suarez Navarro hit her first balls on December 6, with the Italian Sara Errani. Did she secretly hope to return to the circuit? Maybe not. But she was not resigned to leaving the circuit on this big health glitch. Without a final farewell.
Participation decided at the last moment
Over the weeks, she regained physical condition. In early May, on the sidelines of the Madrid tournament, she played the sparring partner for some players. At that time, she relied more on participation in the Olympic Games. But she found that her body was responding well to workouts. And as she has an incomparable technical facility – her one-handed backhand is a pure marvel – she decided a few days ago to participate in her twelfth Roland.
This is the tournament where she was revealed in 2008. After qualifying, she then eliminated Amélie Mauresmo in the second round before failing in the quarterfinals against the Serbian Jelena Jankovic.
But it was in 2014 that she had come very close to the last square. At the end of an exciting match, she surrendered 7-6, 2-6, 7-5 against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. The regret of her career in this land she adores. But by winning the match against cancer, Carla Suarez Navarro only comes to seek love in Paris. Regardless of the result of her first round against American Sloane Stephens.