A special goodbye. At the US Open, the Spanish Carla Suárez Navarro lost to local Danielle Collins and retired from professional tennis. At the age of 32, the former World No. 6 was beaten in the first round and left the circuit. A great one who overcame a serious illness and returned this season to say goodbye.
The September 1, 2020 it was not another date. ”Hi everyone. I wanted to inform you that the doctors, a few days ago, I was detected a lymphoma, a Hodgkin lymphoma (a disease in which malignant cells form in the lymphatic system) that requires six months of chemotherapy. I’m fine, I’m calm. And above all wanting to face what is coming. Greetings, ” was the message on social networks that the 32-year-old Spaniard shared to announce the sad news. A shake up for locals and for others in the world of tennis. The most important and difficult game of his life began.
But this fighter was true to her words. The April 22 this yearAlmost seven months after that first announcement, the winner of two WTA titles was once again present in the media, this time to draw smiles on everyone’s faces. ” One more step on this path. Today I finally finish the full treatment and I can already say that I have overcome a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma! ” he wrote on his account Instagram to make it clear that he had done his job.
Her last professional match had occurred at the Qatar Open on February 25, 2020. In that match she had lost to Czech Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-3 and 6-0 in the second round of the tournament. The one born in Las Palmas was located in 70th place in the ranking at that time.
One of the first voices that was raised to celebrate and welcome him back on the circuit was that of his compatriot Rafael Nadal: “ You are a champion, you were already on the track, but now you have shown that you are also a champion outside of the track, and I just wanted to congratulate you and tell you that I am very happy with your recovery and surely that little by little you will find the strength to return to playing tennis or practicing the sport that you want, ” said the winner of 20 Grand Slam in a video published by the ATP.
“It takes time to arrive, and in the end, and in the end, there is a reward,” reads a verse from the song “Zona de promesas”, by the popular Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa. And so it was that the French brick dust of Roland Garros 2021 He dressed up to receive Suárez Navarro once again. The June 1 Last time she faced the American Sloan Stephens for the first round of the contest. It was a defeat for the European 3-6, 7-6 (4) and 6-4, a result more than anecdotal, knowing all that he had to face to get there.
Stephens herself, at the end of the game, expressed visibly moved: ” Carla, I am very happy to have shared the pitch with you and to see you healthy with us in Paris. You are an inspiration and we are all very happy that you are back on tour. Welcome Home”. Tennis was definitely celebrating.
It was the turn of Tokyo 2020, its third Olympic experience after having participated in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. The current No. 335 in the ranking said goodbye early in the first round of the singles after being defeated by Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-7 (0) and 6- 1. As for the doubles, she had no better luck: she fell in the second round with her friend Muguruza against the Swiss couple Belinda Becic-Viktorija Golubic 3-6, 6-1 and 11-9.
With the elimination completed, her teammate was moved and could not hide her tears when she spoke: ” I will miss Carla a lot. He is a fantastic person, I am very sad that he is retiring. I wish I played longer. He is too good a person, ” were the words of the No. 9 in the world in an interview with the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
After the fall, it was not long before the recognition of the Spanish Olympic Committee arrived. ” Without metal but with the biggest medal of all. You leave with the admiration of the whole of Spain. You have given us a life lesson, that we should never give up. You have to fight for your dreams, ” was the COE’s message to say goodbye to his athlete.
Throughout her career, Carla won two WTA singles titles: the first of them was in Oieras 2014, while the second was obtained in Doha 2016. What’s more, reached another 9 finals and raised three trophies in women’s doubles (Birmingham in 2015 and Tokyo and Stanford in 2014). It also came at the behest of quarter-finals seven times in Grand Slam tournaments (3 at the Australian Open, 2 times at Roland Garros and another 2 at the US Open). On February 29, 2019, it achieved its highest ranking in the world ranking when positioning in the sixth place.
The last dance. Finally, the August 30, 2021 came the last function of the Spanish woman on a tennis court. By first round of the US Open, the European fell bowed before the American player Danielle Collins (29th) 6-2 and 6-4 and put an end to an adventure of more than 13 years on the professional circuit.
“I don’t want to be remembered as the player who retired because of cancer,” Suárez Navarro had expressed in an interview published by the WTA last May. And boy was it not! Being able to say goodbye on her own terms and as she always dreamed of, that is the finishing touch that this tennis and life champion deserved and was able to give herself (and all tennis fans). Thanks for everything, Carla. Miss you!