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Russia's tennis player Kleybanova diagnosed with cancer

7/15/2011 2:00:00 PM



Russian tennis player Alisa Kleybanova, who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Friday, has revealed she has been diagnosed with cancer.

Kleybanova, the world number 28, is suffering from Hodgkins Lymphoma.

"It's my birthday today and I want to thank all of you for the wonderful messages. I haven't written anything for a long time about why I haven't been on tour, so that's why I'm writing this today," she said in a statement.

"It's not an easy time for me right now. I've been a bit unlucky with my health. I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a form of cancer.
 
"I've been having treatment in Italy and it has been going well, but it takes lots of patience and I've had to be really strong to go through this. The good news is after I do treatment for a few more months, if I feel well, there's a chance I'll be able to play tennis again.

"I really miss playing - I miss seeing fans and friends around the world, I miss hitting the ball, I miss everything. Tennis has been my life for the last 15 years."

The Moscow-based player reached a career high of 20 after the Dubai tournament in February, but illness forced her to pull out of the French Open and Wimbledon.

Kleybanova has collected two WTA titles at Kuala Lumpur in 2010 and in Seoul in 2008.