Sandra Klemenschits Set to Return to Tour
Published July 04, 2008 12:00
BAD GASTEIN, Austria - Austrian doubles player Sandra Klemenschits is making a return to the Tour after winning a traumatic battle against cancer. The 25-year-old was diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer last year; the same illness tragically took the life of her twin sister and former doubles partner, Daniela, in April.
Sandra's incredible return has been celebrated by her home country and the Gastein Ladies tournament in Bad Gastein, Austria, has awarded Klemenschits a wildcard for the event, which takes place from July 14-20. Klemenschits will team up with Germany's Marlene Weingaertner, a former top 40 player who will make her comeback after retiring from competitive tennis in 2006.
"We are glad that we can help Sandra on her way back, especially after such a hard time," tournament director Sandra Reichel said.
The Tour, and players like Roger Federer, Marat Safin, Justine Henin, Amelie Mauresmo and Martina Hingis, among others, did their part for the two sisters by donating signed items for an online auction last year and money from their prize money at various tournaments. Their efforts raised approximately $70,000 for their costly medical treatment and which has also helped Sandra return to the game.
The Klemenschits sisters were best-known for reaching the Istanbul Cup final in 2005 and the Stockholm and Budapest semifinals later that year; they were an impressive force on the ITF Women's Circuit as well, winning 20 titles together. Although they failed to win a Tour event, they entered the Top 100 of the Tour doubles rankings in 2005.