Tennis: US pro Nicole Gibbs diagnosed with rare form of cancer

American Nicole Gibbs.
American Nicole Gibbs. Photo credit: Getty

Nicole Gibbs has withdrawn from the French Open after the American announced she has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.

The 26-year-old, ranked 117 in the world, released a statement on Twitter revealing her dentist had made the discovery.

Gibbs has played at Auckland's ASB Classic on three occasions, including a first round loss in 2017 at the hands of Caroline Wozniacki.

Gibbs intends to miss the remainder of the claycourt season and is set for surgery on Friday to remove a growth on the roof of her mouth, which was diagnosed as mucoepidermoid carcinoma.

"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.

"About a month ago, I went to the dentist and was alerted to a growth on the roof of my mouth. The biopsy came back positive for a rare cancer called mucoepidermoid carcinoma (salivary gland cancer).

"Fortunately, this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment."

Gibbs went on to confirm she had been given the green light to play in recent competitions after the discovery and that they have served as a "nice distraction".

She is now aiming to return to the court in time to target Wimbledon qualification, which is set to take place at the end on June.

Gibbs, who was born in Ohio and is based in California, reached the third round at the 2014 US Open and 2017 Australian Open.

Her career-best ranking was 68th in 2016.

PA / Newshub.