World number four Caroline Garcia said on Saturday she may not have opened up about her battle with bulimia had she known the reaction her revelation would provoke within the tennis world ahead of the Australian Open.
Garcia, who capped an impressive second half of the 2022 season by winning the WTA Tour title, told L’Equipe she had turned to food to “fill a void” when things were not going her way on court, prompting an outpouring of support from the tennis community.
“I think if I did know it was going that much, maybe I would not have said it,” said the 29-year-old, who plays Canada’s Katherine Sebov in the Australian Open first round on Tuesday.
“After, when I saw how much it went all around the tennis world, I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable with it.
“I don’t regret saying it. It’s what happened. I’m not ashamed about it.
“I think it’s happening to a lot of athletes and a lot of also regular people because we are still human and we go through a lot of emotion.”
Garcia took a break from tennis in March last year to undergo ankle surgery and returned in fine form, winning in Cincinnati, Bad Homburg and Warsaw while also reaching the semi-final of the U.S. Open.
She takes on Sebov hoping to quickly hit her stride as she sets her sights on a first Grand Slam title.
“I think what is tough is we don’t have a lot of rhythm,” she said. “The Slam is coming very fast after the off-season, so you didn’t play.
“You can play tournaments, but if you go all the way, of course, you have a lot of matches. So far I didn’t get a lot of rhythm on court, not as many wins as I wanted to give me all the confidence I need.”
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