US tennis star Nicole Gibbs out of French Open after rare cancer diagnosis discovered by dentist
Gibbs, 26, announced via an Instagram post that she will no longer be competing at Roland Garros following the diagnosis, nor will she take part in any further events during clay season.
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.
Gibbs' social media post continues to outline that this particular form of cancer has a 'great prognosis' and that full recovery might be possible with surgery alone, potentially sparing her the need for chemotherapy treatment.
"Unfortunately I will be withdrawing from the remainder of the clay season and will not be competing at this year's Roland Garros," she wrote.
"Fortunately this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment.
"He even okayed me to play an extra couple of tournaments these past few weeks, which served as a nice distraction."
She also says that she hopes to return to the court in advance of the Wimbledon qualifiers in June. Gibbs has won seven singles titles and five doubles titles on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tour and has a career-high of 68 in the world rankings.
The French Open, the most famous clay court tournament on the tennis calendar, will begin on May 26.