|Canadian tennis professional Rebecca Marino announced she is quitting the sport, following a bout with depression that has been exacerbated by cyberbullying on social media sites.|
Marino — the 22-year-old who was once in the top 40 players in the world — told reporters on a conference call she had received hateful messages such as "go die" and "burn in hell," according to Canadian publication The Star. Others berated her for costing them money while betting on her tennis performance.
Although Marino said she has "thick skin," the "really hurtful" words were compounded by the fact she has suffered from depression for the past six years.
“My depression had come way before the so-called cyberbullying,” said Marino. “Social media has also taken its toll on me.”
Following her announcement, she deleted her Twitter and Facebook accounts.
“Social media is actually a really important part of our society and there can be a lot of good that comes out of it,” said Marino, before adding it became too distracting. It's unknown if she will return to those sites in the future.
Last year, Marino took seven months off from tennis, but had recently resumed competing. Social media and depression aren't the only reasons she is leaving the sport, she said.
“I don’t think that I’m willing to sacrifice my happiness and other parts of my life for tennis,” she said. "There’s more to life than just tennis."