Tennis star, 26, rocked by shock cancer diagnosis

Nicole Gibbs is hoping to return to the court in time to target Wimbledon qualification

GETTY IMAGESNicole Gibbs is hoping to return to the court in time to target Wimbledon qualification

American Nicole Gibbs has withdrawn from this month's French Open after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that was found by her dentist.

The rare form of cancer was discovered when a dentist informed her to have a growth on the roof of her mouth tested, which a subsequent biopsy revealed as mucoepidermoid carcinoma, or salivary gland cancer. She says her surgeon is "confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment".

Gibbs went on to confirm she had been given the green light to play in recent tournaments after the discovery and that they have served as a "nice distraction".

The 26-year-old Gibbs wrote on Twitter that the procedure is scheduled for Friday and her goal is to return for Wimbledon qualifying in late June. I am feeling extremely grateful for the UCLA health network that's been taking care of me and for the rock solid friends and family who are helping me every step of the way. "See you back on the court soon".

Gibbs won NCAA singles and team titles at Stanford and is ranked 116th in the world.

Gibbs reached the third round of the 2014 US Open and 2017 Australian Open. Most start in the parotid glands, it notes, which are in front of and just below each ear.

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