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Duval out as she battles cancer

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Sunday, July 06, 2014

LOS ANGELES - US teen Victoria Duval, who won her first main draw match at Wimbledon last week, is battling cancer that she expects will keep her off the court for some time.

Duval said in a statement on Friday she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a diagnosis she received after her first Wimbledon qualifying match.

"Being on court provided me with much comfort," said the 18-year-old, who made it through qualifying and beat Sorana Cirstea in the first round before falling to Belinda Bencic in the second round at the All England Club.

Duval's management company IMG said the diagnosis Duval received in Britain had been confirmed by further tests back in the United States.

"Vicky will undergo treatment right away and due to her overall good health and isolation of the cancer, the prognosis is a full recovery in a few months," IMG said in a statement.

Duval will miss the 2014 World TeamTennis season, in which she was to have played for Billie Jean King's Philadelphia Freedoms.

"We are all supporting Vicky and her family at this difficult time," King said. "Vicky is a fighter and she will approach this new challenge with a plan and a conviction to win."

Duval made news at the US Open last year with a first-round upset of former champion Samantha Stosur.

Then 17 and ranked 296th in the world, she ousted the 11th-seeded Australian 5-7 6-4 6-4 for her first grand slam match win.

Duval has travelled a dramatic road to professional tennis.

Her father, Jean-Maurice, survived being trapped under rubble in the 2010 earthquake in his native Haiti, and Duval herself was held captive at gunpoint by robbers at her aunt's house in Port-au-Prince when she was seven.

"I have complete faith that God will assist me and my family with all that we need, to achieve victory and become stronger from this journey," Duval said.

"I intend to put up my best fight and have a full recovery. I picture myself healthy, stronger and competing again soon with even more appreciation for the game I so love."


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