Shock cancer reveal rocks US Open
Carla Suarez Navarro, who last week pulled out of the US Open for medical reasons, said Wednesday she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and will require six months of chemotherapy.
"Hi everyone, just wanted to let you know that a few days ago I was diagnosed with lymphoma. It's a Hodgkin lymphoma," Suarez Navarro said in a video uploaded to her Twitter account.
"I'll need to go through six months of chemotherapy. I'm fine and calm at the moment, willing to face whatever comes."
Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system.
Suarez Navarro, who turns 32 on Thursday, said in December that this year would be her final season on the WTA Tour.
"I have to face a complicated reality. It is time to accept it and try to get ahead relying on medical advice. Always with positivity in the face of adversity," she added.
"Patience and self-belief guided me through my career. Not the easiest rival to deal with. I'll need my truly best."
The Spaniard, a seven-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist, achieved a career-high sixth in the world in 2016 but has battled injuries in recent years. She is currently ranked 71st.
Two-time Grand Slam singles winner Garbine Muguruza dedicated her first round win against Japan's Nao Hibino to her compatriot.
Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion and 2017 Wimbledon winner, needed 1hr 30min to complete a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Hibino, the world number 78.
"When she gave me the news I was shocked," Muguruza said. "She's such a nice woman, so sweet, so kind, so humble.
"When these things happen to good people, I feel so sad about it. I know she was watching my match ... and I dedicate this win to her, because I want her to feel that we are behind her."
Muguruza will face Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in the next round. Pironkova advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Russia's Liudmila Samsonova.
In other early women's matches, 16th seed Elise Mertens of Belgium cruised into the second round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Germany's Laura Siegemund.
US hope Amanda Anisimova, seeded 22, also made sure of her place in the second round with a hard-fought win over Bulgaria's Viktoriya Tomova.
Anisimova prevailed 7-5, 7-5 in 1hr 27 minutes and now faces either Natalia Vikhlyantseva of Russia or compatriot Katrina Scott.
SERENA CHARTS COURSE TO HISTORY
Six-time winner Serena Williams enters the fray Wednesday at a US Open like no other, being played without spectators and with stringent measures to prevent COVID-19 infections.
Williams continues her protracted pursuit of a record-equalling 24th singles Grand Slam title on day two at Flushing Meadows with a first-round tie against 96th-ranked Kristie Ahn.
The 38-year-old will take to an empty Arthur Ashe Stadium that has been decorated with Black Lives Matter banners and artwork by black artists in honour of the movement against racial injustice.
It has been more than three years since Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the 2017 Australian Open - when she was already pregnant with daughter Olympia.
She has come close since, reaching four major finals only to come away empty-handed.
Williams needs one more to equal Margaret Court's record and her chances should be improved by the absence of several top players because of coronavirus concerns or injury.
World number one Ashleigh Barty, the second-ranked Simona Halep and Canadian Bianca Andreescu - who stunned Williams in last year's final - are all absent from the behind-closed doors tournament.
A title win for Williams would also see her become the most decorated women's player at the US Open in the modern era.
She is currently tied with Chris Evert for most US Open women's titles with six.
Originally published as Shock cancer reveal rocks US Open