December 5th, 2014

Vicky Duval Back to Tennis After Cancer Treatments


By Colette Lewis,

DuvalUSTAFla 2014After being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma this summer at Wimbledon, Vicky Duval had to set aside thoughts of building on her excellent grass court results and her WTA Top 100 ranking to concentrate on recovering from cancer.

After chemotherapy treatments throughout the summer, Duval announced in September that she was cancer-free.

“Everything is good,” said Duval, who turned 19 on November 30. “It seems to be all gone. I’m going to have follow-up in January. It’s three months the first year and then every six months after that. But so far, I’m in the clear.”

Duval recently returned to training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, where she has lived for several years, hitting each day and working on her fitness as she looks toward returning to the tour next year.

“I’m pushing myself more each hour in the morning,” said Duval, who is now ranked No. 135 after reaching a career-high of 87 this summer. “Then in the afternoon, it’s mostly serving, just light in the afternoon. But just to be out there twice [a day] is good.”

While she was recovering, unable to train, Duval turned to art to fill the hours she previously devoted to tennis.

“It kept me busy and I really didn’t have the energy to do much else,” said Duval, who painted, and more recently, began branching out into pottery. “It’s something I’ve loved doing since I was little, but I never had a professional art teacher or anything. So I started working with one, and it’s kind of crazy how much I grew as an artist. I thought I was pretty good, but then saw I was not so good. I’m ok, but I got way better.”

Duval, currently looking for a coach, had originally hoped to return for the Australian Open, but is now leaning toward returning to competition at smaller tournaments closer to home.

“As far as right now goes, Australia doesn’t look like it’s in my schedule,” Duval said. “I’m thinking about doing a few challengers in the states. I know there are a few toward the end of January, so maybe start with that and go from there. But Australia just seems like a long way to go for my first few tournaments, so we’ll keep it close to home.”