EASTBOURNE, England – If Rebecca Marino had been required to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw this year, she wouldn’t be in Eastbourne this week.
Instead of this picturesque seaside down with the low-key and very friendly atmosphere, she would be in the middle of the field at the Bank of England Sport Ground that was turned into tennis courts, trying to win three matches just to be allowed through the gates of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
And she’s making the most of it.
Marino lost in the final round of qualifying to Aleksandra Krunic. But she got into the main draw as a lucky loser.
And in a best-case scenario, the 31-year-old ended up drawing another lucky loser in the first round.
Marino defeated Heather Watson 6-4, 7-6 (1) on Monday, before a large Court 1 crowd.
And she now will face No. 12 seed Camila Giorgi in the second round – same time, 11 a.m. in Eastbourne (6 a.m. EDT), and same court – Court No. 1.
Here’s what Marino told Open Court after the victory.
(She and Giorgi have met before. But it was … in another life).