Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan continued to make waves at Roland Garros as she saved match points to upset No.20 seed Maria Sakkari, 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3 on Friday evening.
Having let slip a 5-2 advantage in the second set, Trevisan dug deep to save a couple of match points in the tie-breaker to win it 8-6 and then won the third set to book a berth in the round of 16.
“I’m so tired right now but I’m really happy,” the 26-year-old said after the match. “I’m living in a dream and I don’t want this dream to finish. Maybe I will realize tonight what happened tonight on Court 9 at Roland Garros.”
Even though her run at Roland Garros is stunning in itself, it acquires a deeper meaning when you consider that Trevisan was battling with anorexia a few years ago.
A promising junior, the Italian’s pro career came to a halt for more than four years (2010 to 2014) as she tackled the eating disorder.
“I hated my muscular body and imposed on myself diets on the verge of survival to lose weight,” Trevisan wrote in a blog for The Owl Post recently.
“Thirty grams of cereals and a fruit in the evening. It was enough for me to stand up, and to worry my mother, who ran to pick peaches from the trees just to see me eat something.
“Fortunately, having reached the point of no return, I realised that I could not go on like this. I had lost all interest, I had closed myself in my cocoon, in a state of apathy in which I no longer even recognised myself.
“I was re-educated to eat, to make peace with my wounds.”
A healthy Trevisan has steadily risen through the ranks. She made her Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open earlier this year and has had a fairytale run in Paris.
“Anorexia can be cured,” said Trevisan, currently ranked 159 in the world. “Almost without realising it I found myself again with a racquet in my hand.”
In her six victories so far this tournament, Trevisan has been taken the distance three times, beginning in her opening qualifying match against American Sachia Vickery.
She has scored wins over top-100 players in her first three rounds in the main draw, beating World No 74 Camila Giorgi in the opening round, World No 51 Coco Gauff in the second and World No 24 Sakkari in the third round.
Trevisan will next bid for her biggest upset of them all as she takes on No.5 seed Kiki Bertens in the fourth round.