NEW YORK: Carla Suarez Navarro received a standing ovation at Flushing Meadows on Monday (Aug 30) after the fan favourite brought down the curtains on her Grand Slam singles career following her first round loss at the US Open.
The 32-year-old Spaniard announced in September 2020 that she was being treated for early stage Hodgkin lymphoma and underwent several months of gruelling chemotherapy and radiotherapy before returning at the French Open in June.
The former world number six, who is known for her sublime single-handed backhand, had already announced she would be making her last Grand Slam singles appearance in New York.
"I lost, but this year was a gift," Suarez Navarro said after her 6-2 6-4 loss to Danielle Collins.
"Last year on these dates, I didn't know if I could be here one more time or not, and I'm here," said the Spaniard, who had been in hospital on this date a year ago.
"I'm happy for that."
Suarez Navarro, who twice made the quarter-finals in Flushing Meadows, said she is proud of what she's achieved in the game.
"I'm happy with the person and the player I have been during all these years," she said.
"I had dream when I was young, and it was to be top-10 player in the world. I think this is so difficult. Of course I have more dreams, but I never get it. I never won a Grand Slam. I never was No 1 in the world, but this is so difficult."
Suarez Navarro, who is set to play her first round doubles match on Wednesday, said she would be ready to play the Billie Jean King Cup if picked by Spain.
"For the moment, I want to relax for a little bit," she said.
"Go home with my family and friends."