It had been more than a year since the last event of the WTA Tour that saw the Spanish Carla Suarez Navarro present: it was in particular the Qatar Total Open of 2020, in which the tennis player from Las Palmas passed Shuai Zang before losing to Petra Kvitova in three sets.
Since then, a long and tiring period, made even more difficult by the Coronavirus pandemic, spent fighting against Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosed a few months ago. Finally back on the court at the Roland Garros 2021, Carla fought but failed to defeat the American Sloane Stephens, who prevailed with a score of 3-6 7-6 6-4.
Speaking after the match, as reported by Punto de Break, Carla said: “I knew that physically I was not bad, but three sets were a lot for me. I feel a little angry, I went very close to it, in the end it is another lost game, I imagine that over time I will evaluate it much better.
I really wanted to be here at Roland Garros for the last time, I started with a little nervousness, even with sadness because the audience had to leave. It wasn’t the game I had hoped for, honestly, but I hope people enjoyed it on television. It is sad to know that I will not return to Roland Garros, it is one of my favorite tournaments, I have a mix of sensations.”
Suarez Navarro: “I wanted to be at the Roland Garros for the last time”
The former world number 6 continued: “I wasn’t thinking about anything, I tried to put everything aside. I know well that I had an illness, that I was treated and that I am now here. All this I took for granted, I live with myself every day and I know very well what I have done.
My goal was to be present here, when I entered the field I tried to forget it and give my best, to think about tactics and to dose my energy. Maybe, when I heard my name through the PA system, I got a little nervous, but I liked it a lot, I don’t deny it. Of course, I would have enjoyed it much more if the audience had been there.”
After recalling the 2008 edition of Roland Garros, in which she reached the quarter-finals after passing through the qualifiers, Carla concluded by talking about her next programming: “I would like to play at Wimbledon, at the Olympics if obviously I could qualify, finally at the US Open. My last year was supposed to be 2020, I postponed it a little bit because of everything that happened because of the pandemic and the disease, but the truth is I just want to play those tournaments, put all the meat on the grill for those events and for this I try to do my best.
I am aware that I will go there with few games, little rhythm, but we have to accept it. Above all, I hope not to get hurt and to be able to enjoy another year of great tournaments. Obviously every time I go out on the pitch I will do it to win, knowing that the chances are greatly reduced by playing one tournament a month.”