Josh’s Fresh Take: November Edition

Cue The Music

Coach and Communications Lead, Josh Martin, weighs in on topics in the world of tennis and shares his two cents.

I remember the first time I met Rebecca Marino. She was introduced to me from a friend of mine as someone who played Venus Williams at the US Open. For the first 10 minutes I thought they were pulling my leg, until a YouTube video was brought up. I was shocked that this individual sitting across from me took one of the best players in women’s tennis to a tie-break. Williams was quoted after the match saying, “It seemed like every time I had an opening she came up with a big serve, so I guess I know what it is like now playing myself”. This was all mind blowing, to say the least.

Shortly after having met Rebecca, I started my first year of coaching at the UBC Tennis Centre. As a rookie coach you often assist the leaders and get familiar with how the systems work and then after a term or two get given the opportunity to lead a class for yourself. It is the best approach to develop coaches so everyone can feel comfortable in front of people of all ages. In my first term of my first year, one of the coaches that I was paired with was Rebecca. I remember how intimidated I was stepping on court with her. There I was, a recreational tennis player coaching beside a former professional athlete that played a Williams sister at the US Open. What? How?

After the first couple of shifts coaching alongside Rebecca, the intimidation factor disappeared. I realized how down-to-earth she was and how passionate she is for giving back to the community.

Fast forward to summer of 2017, one of the last few days at our summer camps here at the UBC Tennis Centre there was rumblings going around that Rebecca was returning to the game. It was a rumor through the grapevine in the staff room that no one was sure about. This went on for a few days until finally I saw it for my own eyes. I was walking into the lobby from our staff room when I saw our Tennis Director, JJ Mahony, pushing a basket of balls beside Rebecca as they walked on to court in tennis attire. I stopped in my tracks and looked around to see if anyone else noticed. It was one of those scenes in an underdog movie with epic music in the background as the protagonist makes a comeback. Like Rocky Balboa in his famous training montage to Bill Conti’s song “Gonna Fly Now”. I was witnessing a movie in the making. Where is the popcorn?

After a four-year hiatus from the sport, it is no longer a rumor through the grapevine, it is official; Rebecca Marino is making a comeback. Cue the music.

Josh’s Fresh Take, signing off.