American Gibbs pulls out of French Open after cancer diagnosis

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – US Open – New York, U.S. – August 31, 2017 – Nicole Gibbs of the U.S. in action against Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic during their second round match. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

(Reuters) – American Nicole Gibbs said on Monday she will miss the rest of the clay court season including this month’s French Open after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The 26-year-old world number 116 said that about a month ago a dentist alerted her to a growth on the roof of her mouth and a biopsy revealed she had salivary gland cancer.

“Fortunately, this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment,” she wrote on Twitter, adding that she will have surgery on Friday.

“He even okayed me to play an extra couple (of) tournaments these past few weeks which served as a nice distraction.”

The Stanford University product said her goal was to be back for Wimbledon qualifying at the end of June.

“I am feeling extremely grateful for the UCLA health network that’s been taking amazing care of me, and for rock solid friends and family who are helping me every step of the way,” she said. “See you back on the court soon.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll; editing by Ken Ferris

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