Sport and Depression: the story of Rebecca Marino - UBITENNIS
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Sport and Depression: the story of Rebecca Marino

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TENNIS – The name of Rebecca Marino first appeared as a pleasant surprise at the 2010 US Open. After a meteoric rise the Canadian struggled with depression and decided to retire at the age of 22. Later in 2013, Marino decided to give a public speech. Giulio Gasparin

 

The name of Rebecca Marino first appeared as a pleasant surprise in 2010, when this 20 year old Canadian qualifier defeated in the first round of the US Open Ksenia Pervak and then pulled a great fight with Venus Williams in round two.

For some 10 months, she has been climbing the ranking fast, showing great talent and conquering the hearts of many fans on the way.

In 2011, she reached her first, and only, WTA final in Memphis and later the same year, she reached a career best ranking at world number 38.

Then suddenly something happened and, one loss after another, she started to disappear as fast as she arrived.

Coming back to Memphis in 2012, she had a final to defend, but, in one of these strange coincidences of life, she lost to the player she beat when it all started: Pervak.

She took a long break from tennis after this loss, attempting a timid comeback later in the year, but when in 2013 she lost in the first round of the qualifications in Memphis, she decided she had enough.

Still aged 22, she retired from professional tennis, but in doing so, she decided to reveal what pushed her to this decision: she had been fighting depression for six years and now could not cope anymore with both the harassment from social media users and what was written about her in the press.

“Things were being written about me, and I’m quite sensitive about that, and I’m quite nosy, so I’ll look it up and then I’ll realize I shouldn’t have looked it up,” she revealed last year to the New York Times.

“With professional athletes, people put them on a pedestal sometimes, and they forget that they’re actually a person still.

“They’ll say, ‘You gave that match away, you cost me such-and-such amount of money, you should go burn in hell,’ or ‘You should go die,’ And oh, my gosh, that is really scary.

“You know, there’s that saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,’ But that’s not true. Names definitely hurt. Words hurt.”

Later in 2013, Marino decided to give a public speech on the Canadian channel TEDxVictoria, which is uploaded on Youtube and you can watch below.

Her story assumed then a wider value, as it gave voice to a topic that for long has been a taboo in sport: depression.

In a society that tends to idolize athletes and giving them a role model to follow, it is often forgotten how they are first of all people and they are vulnerable like everyone else. It may seem hard to believe, but clinical depression cannot be won even by awards and victories, like the recent story of cross country star, world and Olympic champion, Justyna Kowalczyk testifies.

It is very hard to spot depression from the outside, as it can be hidden behind a façade of smiles and fake normality, for this reason the speech of Marino has signed a fundamental step towards a bigger awareness of the problem, even in sport.

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Former Finalist Marketa Vondrousova To Miss French Open Following Surgery

The Olympic silver medallist will miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech world No.35 Marketa Vondrousova has pulled out of next week’s French Open after undergoing what she describes as a ‘small surgery.’

 

Vondrousova, who reached the final at Roland Garros back in 2019, underwent a procedure on her left wrist after experiencing recurring pain. She decided to do so following a medical consultation and will be soon going through rehab. It will be the first Grand Slam event she has missed since the 2019 US Open which she also withdrew from due to a wrist injury.

“The last few weeks were not easy, I have been experiencing recurring pain in my wrist,” Vondrousova wrote in an Instagram post published on Monday. “After seeing a couple of doctors I decided to get this small surgery done to be able to play pain-free.”
“Staying positive through the recovery and can’t wait to be back on the court soon,”
she added.

The 22-year-old last played on Tour at the Stuttgart Open where she lost in the first round to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. So far this season she has achieved a win-loss record of 13-5 with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships as a qualifier. Vondrousova also reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and defeated Emma Raducanu in the Billie Jean Cup.

A former junior world No.1, Vondrousova has been ranked as high as 14th in the world. So far in her career, she has won just one WTA title which was back in 2017 at the Lugano Open in Switzerland. However, she has reached the final at another four events with the last being at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She has scored a total of six wins over top 10 players.

Another player in doubt for the French Open is defending champion Barbora Krejcikova who hasn’t played a match on the Tour since February. The world No.2 has been sidelined from action due to an elbow injury but remains on the entry list for the Grand Slam which will begin on Sunday.

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday.

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Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina Announces Pregnancy

Tennis’ power couple are set to become parents later this year.

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Former world No.3 Elina Svitoliva has announced that she is expecting a baby girl in October on social media.

 

The 27-year-old made the announcement on Sunday morning with a picture of her and her husband, French tennis star Gael Monfils. Known by some as the sports ‘power couple,’ the two tied the knot last July in Geneva ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games after first going public about their relationship in 2019. They even have their own Instagram account called ‘g.e.m.s. life’ which has more than 139,000 followers.

“With a heart full of love and happiness, we are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby girl in October,” the couple wrote on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/ElinaSvitolina/status/1525778313918177280

Svitolina hadn’t played on the Tour since losing to Heather Watson at the Miami Open in March after deciding to take time away from the sport due to events happening in her home country. Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine earlier this year which has claimed thousands of lives. Svitolina is one of the sport’s most outspoken players regarding the conflict. She has previously spoken out against the decision to ban Russian and Belarussian athletes from Wimbledon by arguing that they should be allowed to participate if they condemn the actions of their home countries.

We don’t want them banned completely,” Svitolina told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.
“If players don’t speak out against the Russian government then it is the right thing to ban them.”

Prior to announcing her pregnancy, Svitolina has achieved a win-loss record of 5-8 on the Tour this season with her best runs being to the third round of the Australian Open and the quarter-finals of a WTA event in Monterrey.

During her career, the Ukrainian has won 16 WTA titles and reached the semi-finals of two Grand Slams during 2019.

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Bianca Andreescu reaches Rome quarterfinals after beating Petra Martic

The Canadian was able to get by her Croatian opponent in straight sets on Thursday afternoon in the Italian capital.

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Photo by Roberto Dell’Olivo

Bianca Andreescu is through to the quaterfinals of the Italian Open being played at the Foro Italico in Rome after beating Petra Martic in 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 45 minutes.

 

The Toronto native served four aces and won 76% of her first serve points in a match that was pretty straight forward for the world number 90 who makes her first quaterfinal this season.

During the first set both players did a good job holding serve and it was pretty tight until 4-4 when the Canadian was able to convert and served out the first set to take a 1-0 lead.

Andreescu was hungry for the early break in the second set and she got it but the Croat broke right back the following game to level the set at 2-2. She was then put on the defensive as the world number 47 started putting pressure on the Canadian but Andreescu was able to save two breakpoints before being able to hold serve to make it 3-3.

The next game Martic produced a poor service game and the 2019 US Open champ took full advantage, getting the break and that one break was enough for her to serve out the match.

Her reward for reaching the quarterfinals a date with the world number one Iga Swiatek who had no issues beating the Minsk native Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 6-1.

This will be their first ever meeting on the WTA Tour.

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