Former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone has revealed she has been battling cancer for the majority of the year.
The 39-year-old Italian, who beat Samantha Stosur to win the 2010 French Open final, posted a short video on social media detailing her treatment against a malignant tumour and hopes for a return to the sport as a coach.
"Hi everyone, upon 7-8 (months) of silence from social media and from the world, I wish to share with you what happened to me," Schiavone said in an accompanying written message on Twitter.
"A cancer had been diagnosed to me. I did chemotherapy, I fought a tough battle and now I am still breathing.
"I have won this fight. And now I am back in action."
An extremely popular player during her time on the professional women's circuit, Schiavone's news was met with an outpouring of support from fans.
"HI everyone, upon 7-8 of silence from social media and from the world, I wish to share with you what happened to me. A cancer had been diagnosed to me. I did chemotherapy, I fought a though battle and now I am still breathing. I have won this fight. And now I am back in action". pic.twitter.com/DyafTTcHBX— Francesca Schiavone (@Schiavone_Fra) December 13, 2019
FORZA Francesca!— Raúl (@RaulRuiz73) December 13, 2019
Welcome to the survivors club. 💪💪💪💪💪— Chris V (@ChrisWojtal) December 13, 2019
Stay strong champ— Giky Mahfoud (@Giky04) December 13, 2019
Great to see you smiling Francesca, stay strong, stay positive, all our ❤️to you, wishing good health and happiness in 2020😘😘😘— LIZZ1O3E (@lizzieRF20) December 13, 2019
Forza Francesca 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿— Nizzy Carter (@Sanka97190) December 13, 2019
C’mon Francesca! Keep up the fight and all positivity energies coming your way from your fans all around the world!— nancy bulkley (@iamnmb) December 13, 2019
Forza francesca 👏— Imane (@alma3rifa2013) December 13, 2019
You were Always a fighter on court. Please, for YOU, stay strong and FIGHT. 💪♥️xxx— Sriyani Harper (@sriyani_harper) December 13, 2019
So happy to hear the good news.— ☀️ (@VolleyMePlease) December 13, 2019
During the video clip in Italian, Schiavone spoke of her determination to face "new projects", having retired from the sport in September 2018.
She added: "We will meet again soon. I am happy with what I am today."
Schiavone, a former world No.4 also reached the quarter-finals of the US Open twice as well as the last eight at Wimbledon during 2009 and the 2011 Australian Open.