Kleybanova set for another tough battle

Kleybanova set for another tough battle

After a victorious comeback to professional tennis, former World No 20 and cancer survivor Alisa Kleybanova vowed on Monday to return to the sport’s biggest competitions.

The Russian, 23, won two WTA titles before being forced to quit the sport in July 2011 when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

After an aborted comeback bid last year, Kleybanova made a successful return last week at a Challenger tournament in Landisville, Pennsylvania, coming through three rounds of qualifying and four main draw matches before winning the title with a 6-3, 6-0 thrashing of American Natalie Pluskota in Sunday’s final.

“I hope that now you will constantly be seeing me at the most impressive tournaments,” she said on Facebook.

“It was an amazing week in Landisville for me,” she said. “It is always nice to start a new route to victory. I want to thank everyone who supported me and waited for my return to the court.”

Youth prodigy

The Moscow-born player was a youth prodigy, twice winning the junior women’s doubles title at Wimbledon, and twice tasted victory on the WTA Tour with wins at the Malaysian and Korean Opens. She was also the losing finalist at the 2010 season-ending Tournament of Champions.

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