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The following is an extract of the recently published lenghty interview to the Sovestkiy Sport magazine.

The Rome tournament, which is the last major warmup before the French Open, is about to start. Unfortunately, Alisa Kleybanova, a former Top 20 player and cancer survivor, is not among the players confirmed.

SS: Alisa, are you still suffering from a shoulder injury?
Alisa: To be honest, that just muscle overuse. Now I know that my comeback to tennis was too early. Of course, I was really happy to win my first-round match, but had no gas in the tank left.

SS: But you said that from a medical point of view, there were no contraindications...
A: Yes, it's true. The tests showed that I had recovered completely. Doctors didn't object to me coming back to the courts. We began our preparations, building up my form. After the Miami tournament, I was scheduled to play in Madrid, but decided not to play before Rome, almost a home tournament for me. In the second set of my first match in the prequalies, I could hardly move. I had to play my next match on the next day and couldn't recover. It was a strange feeling.

SS: So what are your plans?
A: I need to have a thorough examination of my body, not in terms of being healthy/unhealthy, but rather in terms of the recovery process and how it works. Through friends I found a medical centre ready to provide me with appropriate services. For the time being, I have to take another break from competitive play.

SS: So your problems on the court seem to be purely physical problems. What about your technique? Has it been affected after such a long break?
A: It's surprising, but not. Could compare it to riding a bike.

SS: Why did you choose Italy and an Italian hospital to have treatment?
A: I chose the hospital Perugia which is a 5-minute drive from my house. I'm quite lucky because this hospital is one of the best in Europe at treating cancer.

SS: The treatment must have been very expensive...
A: I didn't have to pay a penny for it. I had very good US insurance.

SS: I'm unable to picture myself in your place when you heard about it for the first time... What was going on in your head? Did you cry?
A: Believe it or not, but I didn't cry. I'd say that somewhat I felt relieved.

SS: Why?
A: For a few years I didn't know what was going on with my body. I went through innumerable colds and so on. During the season I played on antibiotics and cortisone sprays, and all this in a complete absence of asthma. And then finally I got a clear diagnosis, a clear plan of action with good chances of winning.

SS: What was the worst on the road to recovery?
A: The first seix months in hospital. Chemotherapy. When my hair began to fall out. It was scary.

SS: How did you amuse yourself in those days?
A: I was reading, watching TV...

SS: Did you watch tennis?
A: No, not at all. My friends in Perugia are not tennis people. They were interested in tennis only because I was a tennis player.

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Comments (9):

Nannette Oatley Johnson at 2013-05-11 05:50:58 wrote:

Hi Alisa, you became one of my favorites on the court because you look like, and have the body type, of my daughter whom I adore. I noticed your absence and soon found out about your struggles. I pray in the name of Jesus that both your soul and body may prosper and be in good health. I look forward to the day where you may compete again with gusto and stamina.

Ольга Ковалева at 2013-02-13 18:38:03 wrote:

Алиса! Извините, пожалуйста! Я тоже прохожу лечение от лимфомы Ходжкина в Италии. Хотела спросить сколько курсов АBVD Вам делали в Перудже и делали ли Вам радиотерапию?

Yamazaki at 2013-01-20 02:03:01 wrote:

I am one of your Japanese fans. While watching Makarova playing at Australin open, I wondered why you are not playing these days. Hope to see your play again.

Chris Oddo at 2012-10-03 20:30:31 wrote:

Tennis fans everywhere miss you greatly, and look forward to your next inspirational return to the courts!

Marilyn at 2012-07-19 15:27:31 wrote:

You are a true inspiration and a fighter on and off the court and I wish for you the best and looking to see you back on the courts when you are ready.

Matt at 2012-06-19 17:53:52 wrote:

We're looking forward to seeing you back on tour as soon as you are ready. I hope your training is going well.

Slais (Олег) at 2012-05-27 15:17:02 wrote:

Алиса, все будет хорошо. Надо набраться терпения, организму необходимо время восстановиться. Отсутствие очагов ЛГМ в организме еще не значит полное выздоровление. Организму нужно время очиститься от побочных действий химиотерапии из-за которых у тебя так быстро кончаются силы при игре. У меня дочь танцорша спортивных бальных танцев. Была призером на разных турнирах. К сожалению после лечения пришлось пока на время об этом забыть. Тоже силенок нету на полноценные тренировки. Хотя в обычной жизни все у нее в порядке. Того и тебе желаю))) не зг

BRENDA YEATS at 2012-05-23 10:09:07 wrote:


MACHOS at 2012-05-18 12:24:04 wrote:

waiting for your comebac alisa, DON;T GIVE UP