Five things to know about first-time French Open semifinalist Martina Trevisan

PARIS — Two years after coming through qualifying to reach her first major quarterfinal at Roland Garros, Italy’s Martina Trevisan has taken another step.

On Tuesday, the 28-year-old Trevisan defeated 17th-seeded Leylah Fernandez 6-2, 6-4 to advance to her first Slam semifinal. On Thursday, she will face Coco Gauff for a spot in Saturday’s final.

Trevisan tops Fernandez at French Open for his first major SF, 10th win in a row

It may not be a household name, but Trevisan is someone we should start to remember. Here are some things about her that you may not know.

An eating disorder kept her out of the game for four years.

Trevisan’s path has not been easy. In 2020, wrote a very personal blog post on the Italian website The Owl Post in which she wrote about her struggle with anorexia, which kept her from competitive tennis for four years.

Trevisan sought professional treatment for his eating disorder.

“I was re-educated to eat, to make peace with my wounds,” he wrote. “Appreciate my new body, forgive those who made mistakes, and find my time to get things done.”

Eventually, he found himself with a racket in hand, not to compete but to train at his local club. But Trevisan reconnected with the sport that had once brought him so much joy, and in 2014 he was working his way back to the lower rungs of the sport.

“I think everyone has an important life,” Trevisan said after his quarterfinal victory. “I think the important thing is who I am right now, that I’m happy on the court. I’m doing what I love.”

“So my past is the past, and it helped me to be in the present, to be who I am now.”

To learn more about Trevisan’s journey, read Karen Crouse’s report for The New York Times during the Italian’s career in 2020.

Survived the toughest quarter of the draw

In a quarter of the draw headed by No.4 Maria Sakkari and No.6 Ons Jabeur, alongside names like Amanda Anisimova, Belinda Bencic, Angelique Kerber, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu and Petra Kvitova, is the 59. -classified the Italian as the last woman standing.

Trevisan’s path into week two was paved by Jabeur’s early exit on Day 1, as the two could have been second-round opponents. Instead, Trevisan defeated Britain’s Harriet Dart, Jabeur’s victor Magda Linette, Daria Saville (who unseated Kvitova), to return to the second week. In the round of 16, Trevisan ended Aliaksandra Sasnovich’s streak, and she held her nerve to stop Fernandez, who had beaten Bencic and Anisimova.

She’s building a streak of her own

World No.1 Iga Swiatek’s 32-fight win streak might be dominating the conversation, but Trevisan has also been quietly building an outstanding streak. The week before the French Open, Trevisan captured her first Hologic WTA Tour title, winning on the clay of Rabat. Including a win against Garbiñe Muguruza, her second against a Top 10 opponent, Trevisan has been unstoppable ever since. Her victory against Fernandez was the tenth in a row. She has lost just two sets in that stretch.

Playing the week before a major is always a difficult decision, even more so when you really do well. Paula Badosa found that out in January, when she won the Sydney title and finally ran out of gas in the round of 16 of the Australian Open. It’s a tricky balance between confidence, form and fatigue, and not everyone gets it right.

One person who got it right was last year’s Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, who turned her first WTA title in Strasbourg into a title run in Paris.

Trevisan knew it could be difficult after five games in Rabat, but he managed it efficiently. Before losing the second set in a tiebreak to Fernandez in the quarterfinals, Trevisan had yet to drop a set in Paris. She said her conscious effort to keep her balance and not get overwhelmed by emotions on the court has also helped her conserve energy.

Reel of champions: how Martina Trevisan won Rabat 2022

Rabat 2022

She is part of a current group of Italian players who have big shoes to fill.

The Golden Generation of Italian women, led by 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone, the US Open champion. But at 28, Trevisan is now the first of the group to reach a major semifinal.

“I saw Flavia and Francesca yesterday because they are playing the Legends tournament,” Trevisan said. “For me, they were and are, right now, a huge inspiration to me.”

Along with Camila Giorgi, Jasmine Paolini and Lucia Bronzetti, Trevisan is finding inspiration and camaraderie. Last year, Giorgi broke through to win Montreal, her first WTA 1000 title.

“Martina is so funny” Paolini told the WTA website earlier this month. “She lives 40 minutes from where I was born, so we are from the same part of Italy, with her I think we have a special relationship.”

Don’t rule her out for a spot in the final.

On Thursday, Trevisan will face Gauff. En route to his first major quarterfinal at Roland Garros in 2020, Trevisan defeated Gauff 4-6, 6-2, 7-5. in a second round match. Before his match two years ago, Trevisan called Gauff the most talented young player in the world. The Italian handled Gauff, then 16, in cold and heavy night conditions and she too will know what to expect this time.

In the past, Trevisan has let the moment wash over her, but the key to her progress in Paris has been immersing herself in the moment. There is no need to panic. Martina Trevisan is having the time of her life. After seeing a match point come and go against Fernandez in the second set, Trevisan refocused on looking up.

“I looked around and I was on the biggest court in the world,” Trevisan said. “Even I felt a lot of tension and I was very nervous, because even my arms felt it, but she was happy anyway. I accepted the situation, because as I say, it was normal to feel the tension because I was playing for my semi-final, and I was on match point.

“So I accepted the situation and tried to focus on every point. That was, I think, the most important thing I did today.”

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