US tennis pro Nicole Gibbs has cancer; to miss French Open

Nicole Gibbs will miss the remainder of the clay season after surgery

GETTY IMAGESNicole Gibbs will miss the remainder of the clay season after surgery

World number 117 Nicole Gibbs has withdrawn from this month's French Open after a biopsy returned results of a rare form of salivary gland cancer which was spotted during a routine dental check-up.

She added she hopes to return for Wimbledon qualifying in June.

Gibbs intends to miss the remainder of the clay-court season and is set for surgery on Friday to remove a growth on the roof of her mouth, which was diagnosed as mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

Nicole Gibbs shared some very tough news with her followers on Monday: a cancer diagnosis.

Following her procedure, Gibbs expects a 4-to-6 week recovery, ruling her out of the rest of the clay court season. She said her recent tournaments "served as a nice distraction".

Cincinnati-born Gibbs equal-best grand slam performance came in 2017 when she reached the third round of the Australian Open but lost in straight sets to eventual victor Serena Williams.

This year's French Open is scheduled to take place from May 26 to June 9, while qualification for Wimbledon will be held in late June before the tournament begins on July 1.

"I am feeling extremely grateful for the UCLA health network that's been taking unbelievable care of me, and for rock solid friends and family who are helping me every step of the way", she said.

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