Rebecca Marino at the top of her game

Almost all great artists have gone through dark times. If they have managed to inspire and move people, it is thanks to their story, which is rarely perfect. Against all odds, Rebecca Marino has returned to the front of the stage and is willing to do anything to stay there.

Posted on April 17

Nicholas Richard

Nicholas Richard
Press

Five years. This is the time that Rebecca Marino took for herself before returning to tennis. Five years of battling depression and trying something else, like rowing. Five years to think about her. Five years to empty, before refueling.

In 2013, the Canadian took a break from tennis. At the time, he explained that he suffered from depression. She also said that she was tired of tennis, of her lonely lifestyle, of always being alone and having to be away from her family.

The Vancouver athlete returned to the game in 2018. That said, it has been mostly in the last two years that she has picked up the slack.

Quitting and then coming back is certainly not an easy task for a thirty-something professional athlete. However, Marino did his best to make his comeback a success, and he succeeded.

He has won several titles on the ITF circuit, the most recent of which was this past March in California. His story touched many people last year during his appearance at the National Bank Open in Montreal. She had shone by eliminating Madison Keys, 16Y seeded, and Paula Badosa, now ranked third in the world. She was knocked out in the third round by top seed Aryna Sabalenka. Her charisma, her joie de vivre and her interviews in French had charmed the Quebec public.


PHOTO HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Rebecca Marino during her appearance at the National Bank Open in Montreal last year

This weekend, defend the colors of Canada as part of the Billie Jean King Cup, at home in Vancouver.

in admiration

His teammates only have good words for Marino. She is the oldest player on the Canadian team. Her less experienced compatriots of hers have the privilege of rubbing shoulders with her and learning from her example.

“I greatly admire what he has done since his return, as well as the strength and perseverance he has been able to show. What happened must not have been easy,” explained Carol Zhao.

People only see the final result, but you have to experience it from the inside to know how difficult it is to return to this level, with injuries and training.

Carol Zhao

Another veteran of the Canadian team, Gabriela Dabrowski, a year his junior, also has praise for Marino.

Beyond his performances on the field, there is the fact that Marino was able to maintain the same identity despite the difficulties he went through. That is why he is also so appreciated by fans and members of the national team.

“She had an impeccable career, she is loved, she always treated everyone with respect, and that is a great quality. It is inspiring to see her go. With all the success she has had, she is a great role model for young players. »

on mission

With a record of 21 wins and 6 losses since the start of the season, Marino has every intention of offering the best tennis of his life in Vancouver, when he will play in front of his family. Opportunities are rare and she wants to take advantage of them.

Every day on the court is a gift to the 31-year-old athlete. Stopping for five years and starting from scratch was probably the biggest challenge of his life. However, she does not speak of it with regret. For her, this period of questioning was a learning period. About herself, what she wanted and what she wanted to offer.

I have worked hard to gain confidence in myself over the last year. It’s something I had to work on, because I know the level of the game I can reach and I need to play at that level more often.

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Like a painter reinstalling himself in front of his canvas, the Canadian had everything to do when she returned in 2018. Now she can express herself freely and have clear ideas.

“I am happy with my season so far. He did not start very well at the Australian Open, but he is behind. I knew I was going to need a lot of games and I managed to gain confidence. I was on a mission. I won my title and I want to continue to play well and play in the biggest events possible. »

Currently, Marino’s priority is to re-enter the Top 100. currently has 111Y. Through this search for success and a better ranking, she cannot ignore that her story is told and that it will accompany her for the rest of her career. That is why she would like to inspire as much as possible a new generation of athletes who, like her, may have to deal with an atypical journey.

“I would love to be a model, but it is not something I can control. I just try to be authentic, to be myself, and I think that’s the best way to tell my story. I want people to want to play tennis. »

She says it herself, her five-year hiatus may allow her to play five more than expected.

In this quest to offer the most beautiful of paintings, there is in her that concern for doing things well. One step at a time, because great achievements are made of a series of small things put together.

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