Rebecca Marino follows through on a backhand.

Photo : Martin Sidorjak

The Rebecca Marino story is a well-documented one. A remarkable comeback that continues to inspire so many, both on the court and off. Below is the presentation of a three-part video series which highlights the road travelled towards a triumphant return to the upper echelon of a sport that she thought she had left behind for good. 

The First Chapter

The Vancouver native first announced her arrival on the WTA Tour in 2010 when faced the legendary Venus Williams in the second round of the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Marino lost that match, but Williams’ many compliments afterwards spoke volumes about her rise to the top of the women’s game. In 2011, the Canadian reached her first WTA final in Memphis and achieved a career-high ranking of no. 38.

Unfortunately, with all that success came considerable sadness. Battling depression while also being a victim of cyberbullying ultimately pushed Marino to announce her retirement from professional tennis in 2013 at the age of 22. 

After making that life-altering decision, she shifted gears completely and decided to study literature at the University of British Columbia where she took up rowing to get her competitive juices flowing again. She was also a tennis coach, a venture which reminded her just how much she missed the sport and which led her to pursue a return five years after her last professional match.

The Resurgent Chapter

Marino’s tennis career revival wasn’t without unfortunate twists and turns, but it all came together for her in 2022 when she reached three quarter-finals and posted her first third round appearance at a Grand Slam in New York, 12 years after making her Major main draw debut. She finished the season ranked no. 63 in the world and has the top 50 in her sights this year.

The Influential Chapter

As if her journey wasn’t already inspiring enough, Marino is not only an important spokesperson when it comes to athletes and their mental health, but she’s also using her platform to advocate for equality and more opportunities for women in sport. Her goal is to follow in the footsteps of Billie Jean King, arguably the most influential female athlete of all time, and continue to build on the instrumental groundwork laid out by the WTA’s ‘Original 9’ some 50 years ago.

There’s no doubt that returning to the court has been beneficial for Marino in many ways, but tennis as a whole is also better off when she’s at the top of her game.