Last July 15, on her 22nd birthday, Alisa Kleybanova announced she was leaving the WTA to get treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Russian, who had ascended to a career-high of No. 20 earlier in the year, wrote a brave message to her fans explaining the process and her mindset.
Seven months later, Kleybanova is back with a new message. She's returning to the sport next month in Key Biscayne.
Hi to all my friends and fans!
It has been a long time since my last message... and now I really want to get back in touch with you and share all the great things and emotions I have!
I finished my treatments in December and a couple of weeks ago I did my last tests in Italy. The treatments were successful, my doctors are happy with my health and I'm feeling great!
I would like to thank the Hospital Gemelli in Rome (Prof. Giuseppe Leone, Dott. Stefan Hohaus and their Team), and the Hospital Silvestrini in Perugia (Prof. Brunangelo Falini, Dott. Flavio Falcinelli and their Team). From the bottom of my heart I want to thank my coach Iulian Vespan, my boyfriend Giacomo, my family and my close friends that were next to me all this time. I will never forget it...
I have started to train and right now I'm in Florida playing tennis again!!! It was physically really hard in the beginning, but it was so emotional that I didn't want to get off the court :) This is just amazing, I'm working out every day now and enjoying it so much more than before!
More than anything, I've missed the competition. For me tennis is not just going on the court and hitting the ball - it's testing yourself, seeing how good you are, trying new things, trying to improve, trying to win... For me the best part of tennis is the competition and I'm really looking forward to my comeback!
By the way, I just got confirmed my main draw wildcard into the Miami tournament, so I will see you guys really soon!!!
I don't think I have ever been more excited :)))
- Alisa Kleybanova