Masarova gives away the bell and knocks Stephens out in Auckland


Spaniard Rebeka Masarova defeated second seed Sloane Stephens, 6-3, 7-6 (5) this Wednesday at the ASB Tennis Classic in tournament organizers faced a buildup of individual matches brought on by persistent rain.

The matches had to be played indoors and without spectators to ensure that the first round of singles was completed.

On a day that will stand out for the number of American players in action, Stephens struggled to adjust to the indoor court and fell to Masarovanumber 130 in the ranking, in just two hours.

The Spaniard was leading 2-1 on serve when going into Tuesday night’s game. She immediately broke Stephens’ serve and, with a great serve, took the first set 6-3 in 41 minutes. Masarova took a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Stephens broke in the fourth game to level at 2-2 and broke again in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.

But Masarova broke again in the ninth game and almost did it again in the eleventh game.when he had three break points at 0-40 which Stephens was able to save.

The player who was born in Basel and has triple nationality (Swiss, Slovak and Spanish) he went up 6-2 in the tiebreaker and finally sealed the match with his fourth match point to earn his first win over a Top-50 player since 2016. Her opponent in the round of 16 is Russian Anna Blinkova.

I thought I played some good points. I thought I was good at playing once. Obviously I wish I had played better. and I did some things differently, but generally I was annoyed, but not destroyed. It’s the first tournament of the year, so I have to be realistic and know there are things to work on,” Stephens said.

Stephens hopes to play in Hobart, Australia next week to further prepare for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on January 16.

Earlier, Sofia Kenin defeated Chinese Wang Xinyu 7-6 (6) and 6-3, and now she will face her compatriot Coco Gauffseeded, in the second round.

“Unfortunately, we had to play indoors, but it wasn’t very windy, so I didn’t have to worry about that. But the courts seemed very fast to me, especially who I played with,” said Kenin.

Lauren Davis of the United States defeated Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia 6-2 6-1and will next face seventh-seeded Danka Kovinic, who defeated Japan’s Nao Hibino 6-1, 6-4.

The matches of Venus Williams, Leylah Fernandez and Emma Raducanu in the second round have been postponed until Thursdaywhen they have to play indoors if the rain continues.

Source: La Verdad


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