Tennis Talk – July 2020

This month we chatted with Vancouver’s own tennis legend, Rebecca Marino, to see how she’s adapted over the past few months back home, and what her training looks like as she gears up for a return to competition. Plus we got the scoop on some of her favourite pastimes!

The former WTA world No. 38 won five singles tournaments in her return to professional tennis in 2018, added another singles title in 2019, and secured a doubles title with fellow Canadian, Leylah Annie Fernandez. After moving to Montreal for full-time training at the National Tennis Centre, Marino is back in B.C. and adjusting to a new normal.

Aneesa Heatherington: How did it feel to get back on court for the first time in a while?

Rebecca Marino: I won’t lie, the first hit was super rusty; I could definitely feel a difference in my cardio. While I’d been cycling and running, getting back to tennis-specific movements after such a long break was quite tiring. After the first couple hits, I found my groove again.

How often are you hitting/working out?

Right now I’m back to working out about five or six days a week. I’m trying to listen to my body and not overload myself with too much too soon, so if I need a day off or a lighter day I add those in.

What are some of the biggest differences in training during the COVID-19 pandemic?

I’ve added a lot more variety to my workouts, and have been trying to use my imagination in outdoor spaces (like parks, stairs, or parking lots) since gyms haven’t been accessible.

What goals have you set for yourself since returning to training?

Since I’m not 100% sure when my first tournament will be, I’m firstly trying to enjoy playing tennis! But more generally my goals are to stay injury and pain free (especially after tearing the plantar fascia in my foot last fall) and to start building up my speed of movement on the court.

When do you see a potential return to competition?

I’m hoping the current schedule set out by the WTA/ATP/ITF will allow pro tennis to start in August, or more generally this fall. But I also think it’s in our best interests to listen to the medical advice set out by our local health authorities. So if our return to full competition has to start later, I’m more than happy to abide by this in order to ensure everyone stays healthy and safe. This goes for not only international tennis, but also for national, provincial and local tournaments. At the very least, tennis is a sport that provides a lot of space between competitors, so I think we can see it returning earlier than other sports.

What are your favourite quarantine activities (outside of tennis)?

Road biking and walking the dogs in the forest.

What is your favourite thing to cook/bake?

Chocolate chip cookies.

What are you favourite songs to listen to while training?

Now or Never Now by Metric, and Higher Love by Kygo.

By Aneesa Heatherington