Rebeka Masarova is celebrating an important win…
The 24-year-old Swiss-born Spanish tennis player picked up her first Top 10 win with a 6-4, 6-4 upset victory over Maria Sakkari in the first round of the US Open on Monday.
Masarova, ranked No. 71 in the world, had previously been 0-4 against Top 10 opponents, but took her chances by converting all three break points created to dispatch the No. 8 seed after 87 minutes.
The last time Masarova won an outdoor hard-court match in the main draw of a tour-level event? January 7, when she beat Ysaline Bonaventure to make her maiden WTA final in Auckland. Masarova’s US Open preparation saw her fall in the first round of Cincinnati qualifying before picking up a pair of wins at the WTA 125 in Chicago.
For Sakkari, her 2023 at the majors ends with three straight opening-round exits. One could understand her Roland Garros departure at the hands of eventual finalist Karolina Muchova, who had also won their encounter at the Paris major a year earlier. The same can’t be said for Wimbledon, where she bageled Marta Kostyuk in the first set only to lose 7-5 in a decider. Worth reminding that like Masarova, Kostyuk had never beaten a Top 10 opponent with a 0-14 mark going into that encounter.
Sakkari came into Flushing Meadows at No. 13 in the Race to the WTA Finals. A year after a run to the WTA 1000 Guadalajara title match clinched the final berth to the season finale (held in Fort Worth, Texas), the former world No. 3 will need an even bigger fourth quarter boost to get back to the prestigious year-end event.