Rome, Italy, September 6, 2019 – When Rebecca Cavalcanti won the Brazilian U-21 Championships at the age of 18 back in 2011 the feeling was that she would be a force to reckon with at the international level very soon. The transition was not as quick as many initially thought, but the defender, who’s competing at this week’s World Tour Finals in Rome with partner Ana Patricia Silva, is now a force to reckon with.
After playing in just five World Tour events between 2014 and 2017, Rebecca became a full-time participant in 2018 and since last October Ana Patricia and her have won as many as eight international medals, including three gold, two silver and three bronzes. The good results have put the team in a good spot regarding qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“It feels like I was playing nationally in Brazil for all those years just to get ready, but the truth was that I was afraid to take my chances at the World Tour earlier,” Rebecca said. “I didn’t feel I was mature enough, I thought I wasn’t ready for it and I wasn’t sure I should make the financial commitment back then. Perhaps I already had the skills to compete on the World Tour before, but I don’t think I was mature enough.”
Her maturation process took a significant step forward in 2014, when at the age of 21, the defender gave birth to her first daughter, Isabella. At that point, not only her career, but her entire life changed.
“When I had her everyone told me that my life would change and it certainly did,” the Brazilian reflected. “It’s a huge responsibility to raise a kid, so you get a lot more mature and from that point on I haven’t been playing just for myself, I am playing for her and our family as well. It kind of gives you an extra energy and a new reason to fight for every day.”
Born in Fortaleza, Rebecca has spent most of her beach career training with Brazilian legendary coach Reis Castro, who led the teams of Juliana Felisberta/Larissa Franca and Talita Antunes/Larissa to numerous World Tour gold medals.
At their training centre, she would look up to Larissa, one of the most accomplished defenders to ever play the game. And they share some similarities, including their on-court laser-sharp focus and a fiery personality.
“I had and I still have a close relationship with Larissa and she’s definitely a role model for me,” Rebecca admitted. “But I think that on the court it’s just my personality. I’ve always been extremely focused when playing and I don’t really get bothered by whatever is happening on the other side of the net or outside the court. Ana is more of a fun-loving player, she really likes to interact and all and she keeps telling me to loosen up a little bit but I can’t, that’s just who I am.”