Tennis star Nicole Gibbs withdraws from French Open following cancer diagnosis

Yahoo Sport UK
Nicole Gibbs in action (Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Nicole Gibbs in action (Photo by Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Tennis star Nicole Gibbs has withdrawn from the French Open after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The American posted on Twitter that she had been alerted to a growth on the roof of her mouth by her dentist and a biopsy came back positive for salivary gland cancer.

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Gibbs, 26, said that she is scheduled for surgery on Friday and hopes to return to action in time for Wimbledon.

“Fortunately this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment,” Gibbs tweeted. “He even okayed me to play an extra couple of tournaments these past few weeks which served as a nice distraction.”

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Cincinnati-born Gibbs equal-best grand slam performance came in 2017 when she reached the third round of the Australian Open but lost in straight sets to eventual winner Serena Williams.

She also previously lost at the same stage of the 2014 US Open, losing to Flavia Pannetta.

Following her procedure, Gibbs expects a 4-to-6 week recovery, ruling her out of the rest of the clay court season.

Gibbs, who reached a career high ranking of 68 in 2015, hopes to be available for Wimbledon qualifying at the end of June.

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