Eight years after her final Grand Slam look, Canadian tennis professional Rebecca Marino is again on the world stage on the Australian Open.
The Vancouver product’s tennis profession bought off to quick begin. Earlier than turning 22, she had already obtained back-to-back Tennis Canada feminine participant of the yr awards in 2010 and 2011. She had received 4 ITF titles, had an 18-match profitable streak in late 2010, and was ranked as excessive as No. 38 on the earth.
Nevertheless, in 2013, she introduced her retirement from tennis at at age 23 as a consequence of melancholy.
“I believe again to that interval in my life and I nearly really feel like I used to be a special individual,” mentioned Marino, now 30 years outdated, from Melbourne, Australia.
After retiring from tennis, Marino enrolled on the College of British Columbia to check English literature. She mentioned she loved her time there and even bought to take up a brand new sport, rowing.
Nevertheless, in September of 2017, at age 27, she determined that it was time to return to tennis. Her father, Joe, was essentially the most important catalyst for her return. On the time, he was recognized with prostate most cancers, and Rebecca determined that she didn’t need to stay the remainder of her life with any regrets.
When Marino returned to on-court motion in February of 2018, she discovered rapid success. Within the first match that she entered, she received. After that occasion, she slowly began to climb up the leaderboards and reached a 140 rating. Nevertheless, she suffered a foot damage in the summertime of 2019, which pressured her to take time away from the game once more.
As she ready and rehabbed to return one other tragedy struck.
In April of final yr, Rebecca’s father handed away from his prostate most cancers. Nevertheless, she pushed ahead in an try and qualify for the Australian Open.
“His well being battles and challenges have been what impressed me,” Marino mentioned whereas combating tears. “Contemplating that 2020 was most likely essentially the most difficult yr of my life, I’m actually proud to make it right here with him in thoughts.”
“I’m positively actually pleased with myself,” she mentioned. “I believe it has been fairly a problem and a rollercoaster via life, so to get again and have a second like that is actually redeeming, and I’m fairly pleased with all the pieces I’ve achieved.”
This can after all be an Australian Open like no different. Gamers arriving to Australia needed to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Melbourne, however the journey was even longer for Marino, who needed to first win three straight Aussie Open qualifying matches, which came about in Dubai this yr.
Qualifying usually takes place on the similar location because the match, by no means thoughts on a very completely different continent.
“It was fairly ingenious that the match got here up with that idea,” Marino mentioned of the alterations made because of the pandemic. “I kinda appreciated that however it was a bit discombobulating to be in a special location from the place you’re presupposed to be.”
Marino managed to get the wins she wanted to return to a significant.
“The Grand Slams are the place all of us need to be, so for me to make it again after eight years is fairly thrilling,” Marino mentioned.
This time, Marino comes into a significant with a brand new perspective from what she handled when it comes to her psychological well being. She factors out that the way in which the WTA responds to gamers who’re coping with psychological well being battles is a lot better now, with opponents being extra open and pleasant in the direction of each other.
“What I’d inform different folks is that interval of your life shouldn’t be without end, and should you do the appropriate issues to get your self in a greater psychological state, whether or not it’s simply speaking or different completely different steps, it’s clearly crucial.
“I really feel like had I not accomplished that, I wouldn’t be on this place proper now.”