September 21, 2023

Open Court


ROLAND GARROS – It has been 11 years since Rebecca Marino was in the main draw at Roland Garros.

It was a lifetime ago, during her “first” career and before she retired from the game for 4 1/2 years.

She reached the third round that year in her only main-draw appearance so far, losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova.

After trips back to the qualifying in 2019 and 2021 were unsuccessful, the 31-year-old took a positive step this time, with a first-round win on Tuesday.

Marino defeated Paula Ormaechea of Argentina 6-4, 6-3. Other than a slight dip of form after taking a big lead in the first set, she was solid.

“I’m actually quite happy with that match. Clay is her home territory, so I knew it’d be challenging. I’m really pleased to come out with the win, and finding a way no matter what,” Marino said.

Here’s what it looked like.

The Canadian will face Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine in the second round Wednesday.

Marino defeated Kavatska in the first round of qualifying, 6-3, 6-2, to reach the main draw in Miami in March.

Clay is a different animal, though.

“I know she’s very strong mentally. And she’s coming back from injury and Miami was her first event. So maybe she’s got her feet under her a little bit more. I’m expecting a fight, regardless,” Marino said.

Marino seems to have assessed that pretty well. Kavatska had a tough time that day, a lot of emotions coursing through her – and not only about the return to play. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was still so fresh, and the atrocities back home (it’s only gotten worse since thenº had so many players from that country struggling with their composure.

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