Say hello to Alisa Kleybanova
Some battles are bigger than others. Russia’s Alisa Kleybanova proved that on the opening day at the US Open after a two-and-a-half year absence from the majors because of cancer.
Reluctant role model Kleybanova announced she was sick via the WTA’s website on July 15, 2011 – her 22nd birthday. She underwent chemotherapy until December 2011. She is reluctant to be viewed as a role model. “All those things are over for me now,” she said. “I went through them. I came out as a winner ... I hear a lot from people that I’m an inspiration for them. A lot of people now look up to me. I don’t want to be an example. If I am, very nice. But I did this for myself.”
Praise from Puig The 44th-ranked Puig, who cracked the top 50 after reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, said it was hard to tell Kleybanova had been ill. “She was a top-20 for a reason,” Puig said. “It’s amazing to see how she has come back from that, and be able to play at such a level. Definitely, I won’t be surprised to see her at the top.” Kleybanova’s next opponent will be ninth-seeded Serb Jelena Jankovic.
Published: August 28, 2013 04:00 AM