American tennis player Allie Kiick has confirmed that she has been diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer. The American, who reached a ranking high of 136 in the world last year, has been absent from the tour for a month due a knee injury prior to the shock diagnoses.
The 20-year-old claimed the biggest title in her career earlier this year by winning the ITF £50,000 Charlottesville tournament. She has also reached the semi-final at three other ITF tournaments in 2015 (two $25,000 and one $50,000).
The 20-year-old recently described herself as a 'daredevil' who life revolves around tennis during an interview with Sparzio Tennis.
“I am not your typical tennis player that avoids fun stuff. I love snowboard, I love to wakeboard, my whole life revolves around tennis and I want to fulfil my full potential” she said.
The news of her diagnoses was confirmed on her Twitter account.
It saddens me to say I have to take more time off from tennis. I've been working so hard to heal my second knee injury but I received a ... — Allie Kiick (@AllieKiick) August 18, 2015
heart breaking phone call that I have been diagnosed with the cancer of the skin called melanoma.
Unfortunately, I have a very bad strain — Allie Kiick (@AllieKiick) August 18, 2015
and a rare form. Fortunately, we have caught it early and are taking all steps necessary to make sure it goes no further then it can.
— Allie Kiick (@AllieKiick) August 18, 2015
It's been an extremely rough year and a half for me, but I look forward to finally overcoming everything and getting back to doing what — Allie Kiick (@AllieKiick) August 18, 2015
Melanoma is a type of cancer which can spread to other parts of the body and is the 5th most common type of cancer in the UK.
I know God has something good in store for me and am keeping very high spirits. Thank you all for the support as always 😊. Much love — Allie Kiick (@AllieKiick) August 18, 2015
Kiick joins a list of players who have battled against the a form of the disease. Other players include Ross Hutchins, Victoria Duval and Elena Baltacha. Duval has recently returned to the WTA tour after overcoming her illness.
Outside of the ITF Tour Kiick has enjoyed minimal success on the WTA Tour and is yet to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam. She currently has a career main draw win-loss of 86-62.