Carla Suarez Navarro

The first time tennis world discovered Carla Suarez Navarro was in 2008, at the French Open. The talented young Spaniard, then 20 years old, reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier, beating two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo in the second round. During the following thirteen seasons, “Carlita” blessed the WTA Tour with her brilliant all-court game, evolving from being a clay specialist to an all-around baseline attacker.

Her signature shot was an amazing one-handed backhand, following in the legacy of Justine Henin and Francesca Schiavone as one of the very few female tennis top-players who didn’t stick with the two-handed technique. A solid and reliable kick serve, a big top-spin forehand, and good volleys thanks to many doubles played completed Suarez Navarro’s weapons, making her one tough opponent for anyone on the tour.

Tennis-wise, the highlights of her career were two titles: Oeiras (Portugal) in 2014, and Doha (Qatar) in 2016, that led her to the career high-ranking of world’s number 6 that year. Carla also was nine times a runner-up, including prestigious events like Rome and Miami in 2015.

But her biggest achievement, unfortunately, happened off-court, when showing an inspiring strength and positive mindset, Suarez Navarro had to win her battle with the Hodgkin's lymphoma disease last year, and managed to return to competitive tennis for one last season in 2021. The affection showed by fans all over the world, packing her matches’ attendance everywhere, was moving and truly heartfelt, with the standing ovation tribute in London centre court arguably being one of the most touching moments of the last season overall.

Lotto Sport is proud to have been alongside Carla for many wonderful tennis years, and so happy for her well-being and final return to competitions for a well deserved farewell tour. To put it in her own words, “I wanted to achieve it. I didn’t want that people remember my name for finishing my tennis career due to cancer. I wanted to prove myself that I could achieve it and retire on my own terms, as I had imagined. Playing tennis in the biggest events as I did this year”. Thanks, Carla, for everything you showed and taught us in tennis and in life. This is what being “Better than your best” really means.