Marino to take time off again

by: Matt Cronin | February 20, 2013

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Former world No. 38 Rebecca Marino announced Wednesday that she will be stepping away from tennis again.

After a breakthrough season in 2011 that saw the Canadian reach her first WTA final in Memphis, she decided to take a break from the game in February of 2012. The 22-year-old returned seven months later and began to play Futures and Challengers, but she was unable to win a WTA main-draw match. She recently told the New York Times that she was severely affected by the criticism she received via social media, which is why she stopped the first time.

In a statement released by Tennis Canada on Wednesday, Marino said: “I have decided to step away from tennis. This was not an easy decision, but there are a number of factors that have led me to this. Factors that are part of our society and that I am more than open to discuss, which I plan to do moving forward, because I know it’s part of my growth process.”

Marino then told reporters in a conference call that she is battling depression.

"I have been suffering from a form of depression for many years," Marino said. "It got to the point last February where I couldn't go on. I opened up to my family, and it was the best thing I've ever done. It's important for you to talk with somebody and tell them what you're going through. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. I'm hoping, by opening up about this, I can encourage someone to get the help they deserve….Social media has been taking a toll on me, but it's not the main reason. It's my depression. It has been a difficult decision, one not taking lightly. But I realize I don't have the passion for the sport I once did."

Marino said that playing pro tennis doesn't fit her lifestyle and said she would like to go back to school or get a job.

"I'm using the terminology 'stepping back' from tennis rather than saying 'retiring.' Who knows at one point where I'll come back to tennis? I'm looking at other endeavors. But I'm careful not to use the word 'retirement.'"

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