Victoria Duval ready for U.S. Open after beating cancer

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Just last year, Victoria Duval was ranked number 87 in the world in tennis, and she was climbing rapidly. But she had to pause in her ascent to glory to fight a different kind of battle: one against Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Now, cancer-free, Duval will be returning to tennis to play a qualifying round against Luksika Kumkhum of Thailand in Queens in her first Grand Slam since 2014 at Wimbledon.

“I’ve been dreaming about this moment ever since I started my treatment,” Duval told the Daily News. “It still feels surreal to me.”

Duval’s fight for her life started last summer just before the qualifying rounds at Wimbleton. She was just signing in when she was told that she needed to report immediately to the medical office. The test results for a lump on her neck had just come in.

Shocked and fearing the worst, Duval went to the office, where she was told that she had Hodkin’s but that they had caught it early enough that it was treatable with chemotherapy.

According to the Daily News, after that doctor’s visit, she went out to play tennis and won three qualifying matches. She then went on to win her first match but made the mistake of browsing the internet on her phone for information on chemotherapy and learning about the side effects of the treatment. She played the second match in tears and lost, and she went back to the United States for her biweekly treatments.

But now, Duval is back, and she is definitely ready to get back in the game. On Monday, she said that she believes “that I can contend and win every match I play at the U.S. Open.”

“I’m just enjoying every moment I have, in tennis and in life,” Victoria Duval said.