Photo: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images
*** Six feet tall, 21 years old, Rebecca Marino plays her height. The hard hitting, hard serving Vancouver resident shot up the WTA rankings the way Milos Raonic went up the ATP ladder. Then, after reaching a career high WTA #38 she took a seven month break from the Tour. We caught up with her at the Tevlin and talked about her hiatus from the game. ***
ONcourt: In three years your rise was meteoric up to 38 WTA best. What caused you to step away from a career which, for those of us on the outside, seemed to be on the way to the top?
Rebecca Marino: It was a very quick rise almost out of nowhere to 38 in the world. This took a toll on my body, and I simply felt that I needed a break in order to maximize my career length.
ONcourt: Was that decision one you felt coming for a long time or did you suddenly just feel it was time to step away?
RM: It was a decision that I definitely thought about for a while. It is always difficult to step back from your career, particularly one that you love. But I knew it was the right decision for the long term.
ONcourt: You were always very close to your family and I am sure they were very supportive, what feedback did they provide you?
RM: My family is my rock; they are incredibly supportive through thick and thin. During this specific decision, they told me to trust my gut, and they would support me no matter what I chose. I was also able to bounce ideas off them, which is always a help.
ONcourt: In your hiatus from the game what did you do and when did you feel the urge to come back?
RM: During my time off, I did a variety of things I had never done before. I tried snowboarding up at Whistler Blackcomb, which was my first time visiting that the mountain, as well as snowboarding. I can tell you it is not a possible career change! I went to Seattle for a weekend vacation, which I had also never done. I visited my brother at Cal Berkeley and watch him row in San Diego for the first time too. Overall I did a lot of things with my family and friends to reconnect with the people around me.
ONcourt: What career changes have you made in order to pursue your goals and maximize your potential?
RM: I moved back to Vancouver from Montreal around a year ago. I’m a home body, and missed my friends and family a lot. I think this change has been really helpful, and I believe it is something that will help me achieve my potential in the future.
ONcourt: You have always been a very quiet and private person, but would you mind sharing your tennis dreams with us?
RM: My tennis dreams are actually quite simple. I don’t look at rankings in particular, but instead I want to achieve and fulfill my potential and become as good a tennis player I can become. In doing this the ranking will follow.
ONcourt: Your relationship with Yves Boulais goes way back. He is now part of team Marino. Where will you be based?
RM: I just started working with Yves again, and things are going very well. Since I’m based in Vancouver, and he is in Atlanta it is something that we will need to talk about. We currently haven’t discussed this fully.
ONcourt: Few people know you were born in Toronto, when did you leave?
RM: Yes! My brother and I were both born in Toronto, and lived in the Beaches. My parents decided to move to Vancouver when I was about 2, so I don’t have many memories of what life was in Toronto.
ONcourt: Thank you very much for your time Rebecca. All the best.