(Reuters) – Former world number six Carla Suarez Navarro said on Tuesday she has been diagnosed with early stage Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, and will need to go through six months of chemotherapy.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, in a video posted on her Twitter account, said she received her diagnosis a few days ago.
“I’m fine and calm at the moment, willing to face whatever comes,” Suarez Navarro said in the video. “See you soon.”
The announcement prompted an outpouring of support from across the men’s and women’s tennis tours.
Former doubles partner and good friend Garbine Muguruza, who learned the news a few days ago, dedicated her first-round win over Nao Hibino at the U.S. Open on Tuesday to Suarez Navarro.
“I, for sure, will dedicate this win to her, because I want her to feel that we are behind her, that I am behind her, and I will go and see her at some point when it is fine,” Spaniard Muguruza told reporters.
“For me, it’s very special. We shared a decade of emotions and everything. It’s a shock for me, somebody so close that is going through this.”
Last week, Suarez Navarro withdrew from the U.S. Open, which began in New York on Monday, for health reasons.
Along with her video, Suarez Navarro wrote: “Patience and self-belief guided me through my career. Not the easiest rival to deal with. I’ll need my truly best.”
In a separate statement, Suarez-Navarro said doctors told her she had a small, curable lymphoma that was detected at an early stage.
“Carla, you are such a fighter and I have no doubt you’ll get through this. Stay positive and come back soon,” men’s world number one Novak Djokovic wrote on Twitter.
“Carlita.. If I know somebody who can deal with this, it’s you!,” twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, who won her opening U.S. Open match on Monday, tweeted. “You are a fighter and great champion with lots of positivity. Sending you strength and hugs.”
“Hi Carla, want to wish you nothing but strength and courage to take on this battle,” four-times Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters tweeted ahead of her first round match at the U.S. Open. “Thinking of you and sending lots of positive energy.”
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)