Following nine months of battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro returned to the red dirt for competitive slappings of the game, bidding her farewell to the French Open after a brave defeat.
United States's Sloane Stephens halted Spaniard's dream to advance the second round on a 3-6, 7-6,6-4 game, but Carla was the happiest to step up in the event
She was set to permanently leave the court due to the consternations the world faced by the complications from the COVID-19, but the news of Lymphoma was another straw that broke the camel's back.
“I wanted to retire last year, but first the pandemic and then my cancer, you know, I couldn't, I had all the time in my mind that I want to come back. I was dreaming every day.” She said.
Carla went to memory lane about the moments in court in Paris, singled out why the French Open was so much special to her.
"I think my first year here I passed the qualities. I was able to play in Philippe-Chatrier for the first time against Mauresmo, a local player. The crowd was nice," she explained.
"Then I have really good matches on Suzanne Lenglen also. I have really good memories from here, and that's why I wanted to be here for the last time. I don't want to miss Roland-Garros." she said.
So many tennis players gave her the needed love and support including, Victoria Azarenka, compatriot Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova among others.
Carla has reached the final eight of the major events seven times including two in Paris.
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