Carla Suarez Navarro Bestowed With a Special Honor by Fellow WTA Players

Published 12/12/2021, 2:42 PM EST
Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021 Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro waves to spectators after losing her first round match against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty REUTERS/Peter Nicholls


In a career that lasted more than a decade, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro was once singles ranking no.6. She even managed to reach the 2014 French Open semi-finals in doubles, partnering with compatriot Garbine Muguruza.

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After revealing that she was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a type of cancer that needed months of chemotherapy.

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The Spaniard had already decided to retire last year even before cancer hit her. However, after successfully battling cancer in January this year, Carla decided to give a comeback on the WTA tour. She contested at Roland Garros, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

Fellow players voted for Carla Suarez Navarro to win the WTA Sportsmanship Award 2021

For her contributions to the sport, and her accomplishments, fellow players have voted Carla to receive the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award. This was the first time in her career. Previous winners of the award include Petra Kvitova, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic, and others.

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During the World Cancer Day in February this year, the former world no.6 mentioned how dealing with challenging on-court conditions prepared her while battling cancer.

I didn’t know how my body would react to a new and unprecedented situation like this one, so there have been days which I have found physically very hard, but mentally I’ve handled it very well. Tennis is an individual sport and we are used to dealing alone with recovery”.

Navarro is one of the rare players to possess a single-handed backhand on WTA tour

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Even though the Spanish tennis player lost in the opening round matches of all the three major events she played this year, she received a fitting applause from fans as well as the opponents who shared the court.

Tennis – Billie Jean King Cup – Finals – O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic – November 1, 2021 Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in action during her group stage match against Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova REUTERS/David W Cerny

One of the few individuals to possess a single-handed backhand on the WTA tour, Carla Suarez Navarro is known for her on-court grit. She has produced quality matches against opponents like Agnieszka Radwanska, Venus Williams, and Jelena Jankovic amongst others.

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Richly deserving of the honor, Suarez Navarro not just made a comeback to the WTA tour but did it under impossible circumstances this year. She ended her long career the way she intended to.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

736 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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