Marino ‘motivated and passionate’ for tennis more than ever

“I restarted after five years away from the sport, and now I’m back in the top 100. I can take some time off and feel like, ‘Pretty cool.'” It was a lot of work. I am really proud to have come this far. — Rebecca Marino

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The Odlum Brown VanOpen holds multiple special places in Rebecca Marino’s heart.

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She was originally a fan. Marino, who is from Vancouver, remembers watching Maria Sharapova win her first ever VanOpen held at her Jericho Tennis club in 2002. She Marino was only 11 years old.

VanOpen was Marino’s first professional tournament as a player, having received a wild card entry in 2005 at the age of 14. She lost in the second round of qualifying.

VanOpen also helped Marino find the sport again. At one point, she was ranked 38th in the world rankings. Marino quit touring in February 2013, citing her depression issues. She was 22 at the time and had given no hints about her possible return.

She stayed connected in tennis and agreed to become a hitting partner for the players competing in the 2017 VanOpen. It started to resonate with her and she realized she wanted to get back into the competitive game.

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After attending UBC and being on the boat team, Marino returned to the tennis tour the following year, winning his first tournament in Turkey and winning on the regular tour ever since.

This year’s VanOpen kicks off at Hollyburn Country Club over the weekend, with Marino seeded sixth and ranked 96th in the world.

The 31-year-old will face 21-year-old American Emma Navarro in the first round on Tuesday. Navarro from New York ranks him 166th. As a freshman at the University of Virginia, he became the 2021 NCAA champion. She announced in June that she was quitting her school and turning professional.

“It was absolutely the right decision,” Marino said of returning to play in 2018. I’m glad he had the courage to do it. He didn’t know what kind of figure he would be. He fully committed to his college life and turned around.

“I’m really proud to have had the courage to do something like that, from the known to the unknown. Now that I’ve restarted after five years away from the sport, I’m back in the top 100.” I can step away from that for a moment and be like, “That’s pretty cool.”

“It’s been hard work. I’m really proud to have come this far.”

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She believes there is more awareness of mental health now. When she first went public, she was “premature for some and I was a little misunderstood at the time.”

“Even the pandemic has made people more self-aware and aware of the mental health of others,” Marino said. “I think we are more comfortable in terms of starting that conversation. will be

“I feel really lucky. I am nowhere near where I was. I am in a really healthy and happy place. It has allowed me to return to[tennis]and I am more motivated and more passionate about what I do.”

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This is Marino’s eighth VanOpen. Given her bond, one can only imagine what it would mean for her to go deeper into her tournaments, where she has lost three times in the quarterfinals.

Canada's Rebecca Marino has won the first set against China's Qinwen Zheng at the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, held at Soby's Stadium in Toronto on August 9, 2022. celebrate.
Canada’s Rebecca Marino has won the first set against China’s Qinwen Zheng at the National Bank Open, part of the Hologic WTA Tour, held at Soby’s Stadium in Toronto on August 9, 2022. celebrate. Photo by Vaughan Ridley /Getty Images

“It’s great,” Marino said. “I play in front of my friends and family. I grew up here. I still live here.”

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself. When I’m under extra pressure, I can react differently. I try to keep my cool and just enjoy my time here.” My family is doing a good job to help with that My friends are understanding I’m taking it one game at a time I don’t think too far into the weekend but that’s clearly the goal.

“It’s special to win here. But we start with the first game. That’s where my head should be now.”

Marino reaches quarterfinals at City Open Marino beat Venus Williams 4-6 6-1 6-4 in the round of 32.

Madison Brengle, 32, ranked 64th in the world, is the top seed at Van Open. The Dover, Delaware product lost in Round 32 at the Citi Open. Ewen

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Marino ‘motivated and passionate’ for tennis more than ever

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