Monday, May 13, 2019

Gibbs to have cancer surgery, eyes quick return

Nicole Gibbs, left, and Sofia Kenin pose after the final
of the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge last July.
Kenin won 6-0, 6-4. Photo by Paul Bauman
   Nicole Gibbs tweeted Sunday that she will have surgery for salivary gland cancer on Friday in Los Angeles and miss the rest of the clay-court season.
   But the 26-year-old former Stanford star hopes to return for Wimbledon qualifying, June 25-27.
   According to Gibbs, her dentist noticed a growth on the roof of her mouth about a month ago and the biopsy came back positive.
   "Fortunately, this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment," wrote Gibbs, a resident of Venice in the Los Angeles area. "He even okayed me to play an extra couple of tournaments these past few weeks which served as a nice distraction."
   Added Gibbs: "I am feeling extremely grateful for the UCLA health network that's been taking amazing care of me, and for rock solid friends and family who are helping me every step of the way. See you back on court soon."
   A petite 5-foot-6 (1.68 meters), Gibbs is ranked No. 117 after reaching a career-high No. 68 in July 2016. She won two NCAA titles in singles and one in doubles before turning pro one year early in 2013.
   Gibbs has battled depression since high school but said last July in Berkeley that she was "doing awesome."
   Gibbs reached the singles final of the $60,000 Berkeley Tennis Club Challenge, losing to Sofia Kenin, and won the doubles title with Asia Muhammad.

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