Kleybanova on return: ‘Wins and losses are still important’

by: Matt Cronin August 08, 2013

AP Photo

Former Top 20 player Alisa Kleybanova, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma in the summer of 2011, says that while she realizes it will take a while for her to return to form, she won't be just happy showing up and playing matches. The Russian tried to come back at Miami in March 2012 but wasn’t physically or mentally prepared for the “stress” that put on her body.

She returned to action again this May, playing some ITF Futures tournaments and competing in World TeamTennis, where she was named the rookie of the year for the Springfield Lasers. She played Wednesday in Toronto, her first WTA-level contest since 2012, where she fell to Genie Bouchard in straight sets.

“I think no matter what I have been through, wins and losses are still important, because as an athlete I go on the court and with all my heart I want to win every match,” the 24-year-old said. “So of course when you lose it's very tough. So obviously you go out there to win. It's always going to be tough. It's never going to be like I go on the court, Okay, I lost, doesn't matter. You always try to think like that, but it's not always like that. But I know that right now I need to be even stronger than before, because to come back it's going to take a while, it's going to take maybe some not great matches as was today, but I need to go through this, I need to get this experience, and sometimes it's not going to be very positive experience. I just have to get ready for that, because I know that my way won't be easy and I need to go for it and believe that I can do it.”

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