- Associated Press - Friday, July 15, 2011

PERUGIA, ITALY (AP) - Former top-20 tennis player Alisa Kleybanova is receiving treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of cancer.

In a posting on the WTA’s website Friday _ her 22nd birthday _ Kleybanova said there’s a chance she’ll be able to play again. She is being treated at a hospital in Italy because she has a training base and close friends there, “so it’s like home.”

The Russian reached a career-high No. 20 ranking in February, but has been off the tour since May and now is No. 28.

She said: “I miss seeing fans and friends around the world, I miss hitting the ball, I miss everything. Tennis has been my life for the last 15 years.”

The WTA called Kleybanova “very strong and optimistic” and wished her a “speedy and full recovery.”

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