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Alisa Kleybanova's Message

On her 22nd birthday, Alisa Kleybanova talks about her current battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Published July 15, 2011 12:00

Alisa Kleybanova's Message
Alisa Kleybanova

One of the WTA's brightest young stars, Alisa Kleybanova, has been out of action since May, missing both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, among other tournaments. The Russian, who turns 22 today, writes from Perugia, Italy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello everyone :)

It's my birthday today and I want to thank all of you for the wonderful messages and wishes. I haven't written anything for a long time about why I haven't been on tour, so I would like to do it today.

It's not an easy time for me right now. I have Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer. I'm having treatment in Italy and it's going well, but it takes lots of patience and time, and I need to be really strong and positive to go through this. I still have a few more months of treatment to go. But the good news is, if I feel well after I'm done with everything, there's a chance that I'll be able to play tennis again. There is nothing for sure, but the chance is a big hope for me and it helps me to stay positive and focus on my healing every single day! 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.

There are a few reasons why I'm undergoing treatment in Italy. First, I have a training base and many close friends here, so it's like a second home. Second, the hospital in Perugia is one of the best in Italy that specializes in this problem and the doctors are doing everything the best for me. It's just the perfect place for me to be - the surroundings help me to feel at home.

I am a strong person. I've shown it before. Obviously this is different than anything I've ever experienced, but after this is over I'm sure my life will be even better than ever before. This is the toughest time of my life till now, and I hope it always remains the toughest time of my life. I'm sure I'll be able to overcome this - it's just a matter of patience and time and I believe I have enough!

Of course, even though I'm in treatment, I hope I'll have a fun birthday today :) I'm really happy I have my family, my best friends and all the most important people with me here today. They're here every day, week and month helping me with everything and giving me all their support.

Anyway, I just wanted to write to you all because it has been a long time and I really miss all of you guys... I won't be on tour for a little while, but I really hope to see all of you again soon :)

Alisa

Statement from the WTA: "The thoughts of the WTA and the entire tennis family are with Alisa and her family at this difficult time. Alisa is a very strong and optimistic person and we wish her a speedy and full recovery."

Listen to the Tennis Channel's interview with Alisa by clicking here...

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