Carla Suarez Navarro described herself as the happiest player in the tournament despite her Wimbledon defeat to Ash Barty, who said it was a privilege to share the court with the retiring Spaniard.

Suarez Navarro was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma in September last year, just months after announcing her intention to retire.

She delayed her retirement and, after being given the all-clear in April, began a farewell tour at the French Open that will end with the year's final grand slam, the US Open, which starts in August.

Having lost to Sloane Stephens at Roland Garros, Suarez Navarro took a set off world number one Barty on Centre Court, before eventually suffering a 6-1 6-7 (1-7) 6-1 defeat.

Barty and the Wimbledon crowd gave her a standing ovation as Suarez Navarro left the court, ensuring it was a day she will never forget.

"Wimbledon make me a really good gift," Suarez Navarro told a media conference. 

"I cannot ask for anything else better than this day, one of my last match here, against Ash, world number one, Centre Court, with the roof, was amazing.

"Today I am the most happy player in the tournament. The crowd was amazing, was fantastic, I'm in love with this tournament, this court and this crowd."

Barty said of the former world number six: "She's a hell of a competitor, hell of a fighter, it was a privilege to be able to share that moment, share that court with her today.

"I hadn't had the opportunity to play Carla and it was really special to experience what she can bring from the other side of the court.

"All credit goes to her for her resilience and her nature as a competitor to be able to come back from the adversity that she has and to be able to have that moment with her was nothing shy of remarkable.

"I just said to her it was a pleasure to share the court with you, she's an exceptional person, a great fighter, a great competitor and very well respected in the locker room.

"She's going to be sorely missed, I just wanted to give her the appreciation that she thoroughly deserves, I didn't know what else to do, I wanted to give her a hug and just say congratulations on an exceptional, remarkable career."

Barty will face Anna Blinkova in the second round.

Ashleigh Barty acknowledged it will be a "tough" week for her at the French Open as she plans to play through the pain at Roland Garros.

Barty – champion in Paris back in 2019 – had to take a medical time out during her first-round tie with Bernarda Pera on Tuesday.

The Australian world number one struggled with a hip issue, yet still progressed with a 6-4 3-6 6-2 win.

"It's going to be a little bit tough this week. I think over the weekend we had a bit of a flare-up through my left hip, which obviously just needed a bit of help today, needed some assistance to try and release it off as best I could," the 25-year-old said in her post-match news conference.

"I'm not going to hide behind the fact I'm not quite 100 per cent but I can guarantee that I will go out there with the right attitude every day and be really accepting of that and give it a crack no matter what.

"We're confident in that we can get my body to a point where I'm able to compete. We're here, we're fighting, we're in with a chance, and that's all we can do."

Magda Linette is next up for Barty on Thursday, the Polish player defeating Chloe Paquet in straight sets.

COCO CARRIES ON HER FORM AS SEEDS REACH ROUND TWO

Fresh from her triumph in both the singles and doubles in Parma, and a run to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia semi-finals, Coco Gauff started her campaign with a tough win over qualifier Aleksandra Krunic.

Gauff, the 24th seed, certainly had to do it the hard way, with the 17-year-old clawing back four set points in the opener, but some brilliant first serves – she landed 71 per cent of them – got her through in straight sets.

It brought up Gauff's first win at a grand slam as a seed. She is ranked at 25th in the world, making her the youngest American woman to make it into the top 25 since Serena Williams in 1998. 

Wang Qiang will face Gauff in round two in what is a repeat of the Parma final.

Meanwhile, three other big names also made it through. Former world number one and 2017 French Open semi-finalist Karolina Pliskova overcame her close friend Donna Vekic 7-5 6-4, while fellow Czech Karolina Muchova came from behind to beat Andrea Petkovic 1-6 6-3 6-4.

With Petkovic's exit, there are no female players from Germany in the second round at Roland Garros for the first time since 1958.

Fifth seed Elina Svitolina is also through to round two after coming back from a break down in the second set to beat teenager Oceane Babel 6-2 7-5.

"It's a first time for her to play here in the main draw of the grand slam and to face the sixth player in the world it's extremely tough," Svitolina said of her young opponent.

"I think she dealt very well with it and she went for her shots in the second set and made life very difficult for me."

SUAREZ NAVARRO MAKES COMEBACK

Carla Suarez Navarro overcame Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this year, after revealing last September that she had been diagnosed with the rare cancer.

Suarez Navarro won that battle and is now cancer free, but in what she said will be her last appearance at Roland Garros, she slipped to a defeat to 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens.

The Spaniard took the first set 6-3 and forced a tiebreaker in the second, but it was Stephens who edged it before taking that momentum into the decider to claim a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic could meet at the semi-final stage of the French Open, while Iga Swiatek and Ash Barty are in the same half of the draw.

Nadal will start his quest to win the Paris grand slam a staggering 14th time with a first-round encounter against Australian Alexei Popyrin next week.

Defending champion Nadal, the third seed, is in the same half of the draw as fellow all-time greats Djokovic and Federer, who could face the Serbian world number one in the last eight.

Top seed Djokovic, who is two major titles shy of the record of 20 held by Federer and Nadal, will take on Tennys Sandgren in the first round.

Swiss great Federer will come up against a qualifier in round one at Roland Garros, while two-time runner-up Dominic Thiem is up against Pablo Andujar.

Pole Swiatek claimed her maiden grand slam title at the French Open last year and takes on her close friend Kaja Juvan in the first round.

World number one Barty, who did not travel to Paris to defend her title in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, has will make her return at the clay-court major against Bernarda Pera.

Serena Williams comes up against Irina-Camelia Begu, while last year's runner-up Sofia Kenin must do battle with the 2017 champion Jelena Ostapenko in a standout first-round match.

Carla Suarez Navarro can expect plenty of support when she takes on Sloane Stephens in her first tournament since successfully completing cancer treatment.

Carla Suarez Navarro revealed on Thursday she has overcome Hodgkin lymphoma, and the Spaniard is set to resume her tennis career.

The former world number six revealed last September she would undergo six months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with the rare cancer.

Suarez Navarro vowed at the time to show "positivity in the face of adversity" and the 32-year-old has now announced she is cured.

The 32-year-old posted on social media: "Another step forward. Today I finished my treatment and overcame Hodgkin lymphoma.

"Thanks to all for your warm messages. Every word of support gave me strength during the past few months.

"All my gratitude to healthcare professionals who take care of us every day. I'M CURED!"

Carla Suarez Navarro announced two years ago that the 2020 season would be her last on the WTA Tour.

However, the WTA said she decided to has abandon that plan and would return to action, confirming her entry for the French Open which begins on May 30 in Paris.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.