PARIS -- Two years after coming through qualifying to make her first major quarterfinal, at Roland Garros, Italy's Martina Trevisan has taken another step.
On Tuesday, Trevisan, 28, 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.
She might not be a household name, but Trevisan is someone we should begin to remember. Here are a few things about her you might not know.
An eating disorder took her out of the game for four years
Trevisan's path hasn't been easy. In 2020, she penned a very personal blog post on the Italian website The Owl Post in which she wrote about struggling with anorexia, which took her away from competitive tennis for four years.
Trevisan sought professional treatment for her eating disorder.
"I was re-educated to eat, to make peace with my wounds," she wrote. "To appreciate my new body, to forgive those who made mistakes and to find my time to do things."
Eventually, she found herself with a racquet in hand, not to compete but to coach at her local club. But Trevisan reconnected with the sport that had once brought her such joy, and by 2014 she was working her way back through the lower rungs of the sport.
"I think everybody has important life," Trevisan said after her quarterfinal win. "I think the importance 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 what I am right now."
For more on Trevisan's journey, read Karen Crouse's reporting for The New York Times during the Italian's run in 2020.
She survived the toughest quarter of the draw
In a quarter of the draw led by No.4 Maria Sakkari and No.6 Ons Jabeur, along with names such as Amanda Anisimova, Belinda Bencic, Angelique Kerber, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu and Petra Kvitova, it is the 59th-ranked Italian as the last woman standing.
Trevisan's path to the second week 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 vanquisher Magda Linette, Daria Saville (who ousted Kvitova), to return to the second week. In the Round of 16, Trevisan ended Aliaksandra Sasnovich's run, and she held her nerve to stop Fernandez, who had beaten Bencic and Anisimova.
10 - Martina #Trevisan is the first Italian player to win 10+ matches in a row since Flavia Pennetta in 2009 (15 consecutive wins - titles in Palermo and Los Angeles, and quarterfinals in Cincinnati). Assault.@WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/c4uuKI3Pnh— OptaAce (@OptaAce) May 31, 2022
She's building a streak of her own
World No.1 Iga Swiatek's 32-match win streak might be dominating the conversation, but Trevisan has been quietly building an outstanding run as well. The week before the French Open, Trevisan captured her first title on the Hologic WTA Tour, winning on the clay in Rabat. Including a win against Garbiñe Muguruza, her second against an opponent in the Top 10, Trevisan has been unstoppable since. Her win versus Fernandez was her 10th in a row. She has lost only two sets over that stretch.
Playing the week before a major is always a tough decision, even more so when you actually do well. Paula Badosa found that out in January, when she won the Sydney title and eventually ran out of gas in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open. It's a tricky balance between confidence, form and fatigue, and not everybody gets it right.
One person who did get it right was last year's Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova, who parlayed her first WTA title in Strasbourg into a title run in Paris.
Trevisan knew it might be tricky after five matches in Rabat, but she's managed it with efficiency. Before losing the second set in a tiebreak to Fernandez in the quarterfinals, Trevisan had yet to lose a set in Paris. She said her conscious effort to keep herself on an even keel and not get too wrapped up in emotions on the court has helped her conserve energy as well.
She's 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, 2015 US Open champion Flavia Pennetta, 2010 US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci and 2012 French Open finalist Sara Errani, have cast a large shadow the women behind them. But at 28, Trevisan is now the first of the group to make a major semifinal.
"I saw Flavia and Francesca yesterday because they are playing the Legends tournament," Trevisan said. "For me, they were and they are, right now, big inspiration for 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."
8 - Martina #Trevisan is the 8th Italian female player to reach the semi-finals in a Grand Slam tournament in tennis history after Maud Levi, Annalisa Bossi, Silvana Lazzarino, Francesca Schiavone, Sara Errani, Roberta Vinci and Flavia Pennetta. Historical.@WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/SjgRbUATSR— OptaAce (@OptaAce) May 31, 2022
Don't count her out for a spot in the final
On Thursday, Trevisan will face Gauff. Along the way to her first major quarterfinal at Roland Garros in 2020, Trevisan defeated Gauff 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a second-round encounter. Ahead of their match two years ago, Trevisan called Gauff the most talented young player in the world. The Italian handled a then-16-year-old Gauff in cold and heavy night-time conditions and she'll know what to expect this time around as well.
In the past, Trevisan has let the moment get the better of her, but the key to her progress in Paris has been to soak in the moment. There's 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 by looking up.
"I looked around me and I was in the most important court in the world," Trevisan said. "Even I felt a lot of tension and I was so nervous, because even my arms felt it, but I was happy anyway. I accepted the situation, because, as I say, it was normal to feel the tension because I was playing for my semifinal, and I was in the match point.
"So I accepted the situation and I tried to be focused on every point. That was, I think, the most important thing that I did today."