I can’t help but be shocked again and again when I read that young tennis players are being diagnozed with cancer. On Sunday morning I woke up to the news that 18-year-old Victoria Duval had been diagnozed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the same disease that struck Russian Alisa Kleybanova in 2011, when she was 21. Kleybanova has returned to the tour and although she is yet to reach her pre-disease tennis heights, she is healthy.
Duval’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma was detected after she had won her first Wimbledon qualifying round. The American made it through qualifying and even ousted Sorana Cirstea in the first round of the main draw before falling in the second round to Belinda Bencic. Luckily, Duval’s cancer is at a very early stage and the prognosis is that she will make full recovery in a few months.
This is not the first big drama of the young player’s life. Victoria was born in the States, but grew up in Haiti where she survived being taken hostage by robbers. She was seven at the time. Moreover, her father was seriously injured in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.