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Cancer no match for Andrew Florent

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MELBOURNE - Twelve months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, former Australian tennis professional Andrew Florent is back at Melbourne Park playing doubles.

The 43-year-old father of two credits a positive attitude to life, his dedication to fitness and overwhelming support from the world's tennis community for his remarkable recovery.

"When I was diagnosed, I thought 'well, whatever happens is going to happen.' The stronger your mind is, obviously the easier the battle is, I think," Florent said.

"And that's pretty much what's got me through so far, and every time I've had a scan or a result, there's always been an improvement.

"So I haven't had any setbacks so I can only be happy with how everything is going.

"As far as I know, I'm in the top five per cent of people responding.

"I still have three active tumours in my liver, where last year I had about 30 or 40 tumours in my liver, so I'm literally about 90 per cent there."

Florent, won three doubles titles and reached a career-high ranking of world No.13, feels indebted to the tennis family for helping raise more than $100,000 after learning of his plight last January.

Reigning Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka were among the superstars of the sport who rallied behind him and gave items for a charity auction.

"They say timing is everything, right? So literally I got diagnosed during the Aussie Open (last year) and as soon as everyone knew here the support was incredible," Florent said.

"I mean, if it had have happened two weeks later, I wouldn't have got the same result.

"I just can't believe the support. People who I haven't seen in a number of years were willing to help and I'm just extremely grateful."

Florent was initially told he had between three and 18 months to live.

"Obviously the hardest was telling my two sons with the situation," he said.

"But I think seeing how I am with my attitude has put them to ease, just with my everyday — how I'm living and not really getting down on myself at all.

"So that's helped a lot."

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