Vancouver tennis player, Rebecca Marino, a former No. 38 in the world, announced Wednesday she's taking a "step away from tennis" after suffering from years of depression.
In a statement released through Tennis Canada, Marino, 22, said it was not an easy decision but cited a number of factors: "Factors that are part of our society and that I am more than open to discuss, which I plan to do moving forward, because I know it’s part of my growth process."
She revealed that she's been battling depression for about six years but has not talked publicly about it until now, reported The Globe and Mail.
Internet criticism — including nasty Twitter messages from people who lost money after betting on her matches — was sometimes overwhelming, Marino told The New York Times in a Sunday interview. She said those people told her to burn in hell or to die.
“You know, there’s that saying ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’ But that’s not true. Names definitely hurt. Words hurt," she told the newspaper.
On Monday, she deleted her personal Twitter and Facebook accounts, reported The Toronto Star. Marino acknowledged the bullying was upsetting but was not the main reason for her decision.
She did not rule out returning to the sport.
Marino had a breakthrough season in 2011 when she reached her first Women's Tennis Association final and the third round of the French Open. She returned to her family in Vancouver in February 2012 for a seven-month break from the game.
Marino returned seven months later and won the singles title at the Rock Hill Challenger. She's currently ranked No. 418 in the world.
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Who got the last laugh here? Jessica Alba told the Daily Mirror in 2010 that she was <a href="http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/the-ticket/2010/06/jessica-alba-overcame-bullying.html">bullied so badly</a> by her classmates that her father had to escort her into school.
"Twilight" hunk Robert Pattinson claims he was bullied while attending <a href="http://www.metro.co.uk/showbiz/816987-robert-pattinson-i-was-bullied-at-school">Harrodian School</a> in west London, Metro UK reports. The actor apparently got hit a lot because he liked to "behave like an actor."
Oscar and Emmy winner Kate Winslet endured merciless taunting while in school, CBS News reports. Classmates mocked her weight by calling her "<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-207_162-2144550.html">Blubber</a>."
Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg's mother claims that neighbours in their suburban Phoenix, AZ community used to taunt the family. Eve Adler told 60 Minutes that people used to chant, "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/steven-spielberg-anti-semitism-bullying_n_2002155.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&ir=Canada%20British%20Columbia">The Spielbergs are dirty Jews.</a>"
Now who got the upper hand here? Supermodel Tyra Banks was <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2011/11/11/tyra-banks-opens-up-about-being-bullied/">teased by schoolmates</a> for her taller frame, the San Francisco Gate reported. But the bullying didn't end there. Early on in her modeling career she was taunted for her curvy figure.
The King of Rock and Roll didn't always have fans falling at his feet. The Daily Mail reports that Elvis Presley got bullied by fellow students at <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1302136/Elvis-The-intimate-portrait-King-best-friend-29-years.html">Humes High School</a> because he never wore jeans.
Few celebrities have spoken out about bullying the way Demi Lovato has. Lovato told People.com that her detractors would write "<a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20631674,00.html">hate petitions</a>" against her while she was in middle school. Lovato said at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/18/we-day-vancouver-demi-lovato-desmond-tutu-youth_n_1980296.html">We Day Vancouver</a>, "I know there's someone out here in this audience who's being bullied and I know they need someone to look up to."
Chris Rock may be a funny guy, but the bullying he experienced in school is no joke. In 2001 he told CNN's Larry King Live that he got called "<a href="http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0102/12/lkl.00.html">n***** every day</a>."
Bet they're regretting this now: MTV UK reports that even <a href="http://www.mtv.co.uk/news/justin-bieber/353124-justin-bieber-bullied-born-to-be-somebody">Justin Bieber</a> was bullied in school. He said, "Most people in their lifetime have been at some point. I think it's about time that people start making a change."
Victoria Beckham credits her thick skin to being<a href="http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2764509/Victoria-Beckham-says-being-bullied-at-school-made-her-stronger.html"> mentally and physically bullied</a> in school. She told The Sun, "The only reason for me bringing that up is I have always been a fighter." Here's betting her bullies never had boyfriends as beautiful as David Beckham.