Italian tennis player Martina Trevisan, who hopes to reach the last 16 at Roland Garros on Friday, said she had to be “re-educated to eat” after years of suffering from anorexia.
The 26-year-old from Florence knocked out American 16-year-old Coco Gauff in three sets in the second round on just her second appearance in the main draw of a major.
The 159th-ranked Trevisan had been a promising junior player, reaching the semi-finals in the girls doubles at Roland Garros and Wimbledon over a decade ago.
But she has revealed how she struggled as a teenager with an eating disorder after her father was diagnosed with a degenerative disease.
“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.
“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.”
Trevisan faces Greek 20th seed Maria Sakkari for a last 16 place having come through the qualifying tournament at Roland Garros.
Before Paris, her only appearance in the main draw of a Slam was in the first round of the Australian Open in January.
“Anorexia can be cured,” continued Trevisan who spent four years away from tennis to battle her problems.
“Almost without realising it I found myself again with a racquet in my hand.”