NEW YORK (AP) — Alisa Kleybanova could be forgiven for simply being happy to be here, as the old sports cliche goes.
Happy to be rid of cancer. Happy to be playing tennis. Happy to be at a major tournament for the first time in 2½ years.
When she sets foot on Court 7 against Monica Puig at the U.S. Open on Monday, Kleybanova will be competing in a Grand Slam match for the first time since the 2011 Australian Open. The 24-year-old Russian, once ranked as high as 20th, was forced off the tour while being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of blood cancer.
Says Kleybanova: "It's nice to be back on the court, obviously, but for me, I don't just want to play tennis.I want to win."