Canadian tennis player Rebecca Marino is looking forward to playing in next month’s Australian Open after going through what she described as the “most challenging year of my whole life.”
Marino, 30, qualified for her first Grand Slam appearance since 2013 after going through an 18-month recovery from a career-threatening foot injury and the death of her father, Joe.
“My father was very important in my decision-making for my comeback,” Marino said Wednesday in a videoconference call from Melbourne. “His health problems and challenges inspired me. Considering 2020 was the most challenging year of my whole life, I’m proud to make it here.”
Marino was recovering from a torn plantar fascia when her father died of cancer last April at age 59.
“I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to compete again,” Marino said of her injury. “I started on crutches, I couldn’t put any pressure on my foot, and then I walked with a boot for two months. I could barely walk for 15 minutes, then it transitioned to 30 minutes and then an hour. In March or April I got on the court again, and by September I wasn’t having any pain on the court and there was no pain after, and I used the few months until now to get my conditioning back.”