After season of tumult, Trevisan dreams big again

Italian is playing the best tennis of her career at the perfect moment in Paris

Martina Trevisan, Roland-Garros 2022, Simple Dames, 1/8 de FinaleJulien Crosnier / FFT
 - Chris Oddo

In 2020, when Martina Trevisan reached the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros on her main draw debut, the then 26-year-old could hardly believe what she had done. 

“I'm living in a dream, so I don't want this dream to finish,” she said. 

The dream would soon morph into a nightmare, as success proved fleeting for the talented Italian in 2021.

Trevisan started the season with seven consecutive defeats at tour level and her results didn’t improve much from there. 

The Florence native would secure just three victories from her 19 tour-level matches last season, but the dismal performance on paper could not break her spirit. 

In 2022, the sprightly southpaw has emerged from the doldrums to rack up the biggest winning streak of her career.

Back on her beloved clay Trevisan claimed her maiden WTA title in Rabat, Morocco last week, completing a dazzling run to the title that included her first top-10 win since 2020, over Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in the second round. 

Trevisan has hit the ground running in Paris as well, reeling off four consecutive straight set victories to take her career-best winning streak to nine and reach the quarter-finals for the second time in three years.

“Last year it was very difficult here for me,” the 28-year-old told reporters after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 7-6(10), 7-5 on Day 8.

“But I collected a lot of experience, positive and negative experience, and at the beginning of this year (the difference) is that I was dreaming this moment, because in myself, in my head, I see again this moment.

"I thought to myself, ‘Yes, Martina, you can do it again.’"

In total Trevisan, who faces Canada’s Leylah Fernandez next, has won 18 of her last 19 sets.

Has she ever played this well before in her career? 

“I don't think so, no,” she told the press on Sunday. “But I'm enjoying the moment and I keep focusing on every practice and believe it.”

Martina Trevisan, Roland-Garros 2022, fourth round©Jean-Charles Caslot / FFT

The journey has not always been a simple one for the fiery Italian.

A former top-10 junior and 2009 Roland-Garros junior doubles semi-finalist, Trevisan left the sport from 2010 to 2014 to battle with personal problems and an eating disorder, which she wrote about in depth during the summer of 2020 for an Italian website. 

Her off-court travails only seem to make her stronger on the court. 

Trevisan credits her work ethic as the primary spark for her recent rebirth. She is now in a proper mindset, which allows her to deflect the negative thoughts that have plagued her in stretches during her career. 

“You know, to get up in the morning and even if it was a bad moment, negative moment, I went to the club and practise, practise, practise. I think that is the key of my success right now,” she said. 

Trevisan also credits her smile for her success. No, really. 

For the talented baseliner, the smile on the dial is a recipe for battling back against on-court angst. 

On Sunday she cracked a wide grin before match point, then promptly closed out her triumph over Sasnovich on Court Suzanne-Lenglen. 

After the match, she was asked about the significance of the gesture. 

“I know that it’s weird that I was smiling but you know it helped me a lot during the moment of more tension when I’m more nervous. I remember to smile and I feel better,” Trevisan said.

“It’s not easy to do because the situation is very tough, but I practise it a lot.”

Whether smiling ear-to-ear or screaming at the tennis gods (she does both with style) there is something about Paris for Trevisan. She has won just two main draw matches at the other three Grand Slams combined.

At Roland-Garros she has won eight of ten.

“Here in Paris there is a magic atmosphere for me,” the world No.59 said.

“I like so much the court, the bounce is very high but at the same time it’s a very fast court. Paris, right now I feel like it’s my second home.

“I’m just enjoying the moment. It’s two incredible weeks and I keep focus every day on everything I’m doing. Keep smiling, that’s most important, the first thing.

"Now to rest because I’m very tired.”