US Open: Rebeka Masarova upsets Maria Sakkari; Muchova cruises

Rebeka Masarova of Spain on Monday pulled off a major upset on the first morning of the 2023 US Open, stunning No.8 seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4 in the first round.

The powerful 24-year-old registered a straight-set victory against 2021 US Open semifinalist Sakkari in a match that lasted for one hour and 27 minutes.

Masarova trailed 4-1 in the opening set but won the next five games in a row to grab a one-set lead. In the second set, the Spaniard was never broken and cruised to victory. Masarova had three break points in the match, all of which she converted.

Sakkari has been a Top 8 seed at the last eight majors in a row, although she hasn`t won a Grand Slam match since the Australian Open. Sakkari was eliminated in the first round of this year`s French Open by eventual champion Petra Kvitova, and she was eliminated in the first round of Wimbledon by Marta Kostyuk.

The first winner of the 2023 US Open was No.10 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic. Muchova required only 65 minutes to defeat Australian wild card Storm Hunter 6-4, 6-0 and secure a second round place.

Muchova led by a break twice in the first set, but Hunter came back both times to tie the game at 4-4. Muchova then turned up the heat, winning eight games in a row to capture her first US Open victory since a career-high run to the Round of 16 in 2020.

The Czech has enjoyed a remarkable rise, reaching her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and her first WTA 1000 final in Cincinnati earlier this month. Following her run in Cincinnati two weeks ago, Muchova clinched her Top 10 debut. 

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