Rebeka Masarova is unable to wipe the grin from her face, like a child on Christmas morning. She has realised a dream. It will be some time before she forgets April 26, 2023, the day she made her Mutua Madrid Open debut on the Manolo Santana centre court and came out victorious.
We spoke to her an hour after the end of her first-round match, which she won in three tough sets of tennis against Cristina Bucsa. She is still smiling ear to ear as she tells us: “It was a dream debut, I’m so happy, also it’s my first WTA 1000 win and doing it here in Madrid, close to home… It’s a dream”.
Masarova was playing on centre court for the first time, and she was lucky enough to enjoy a great match and celebrate a hard-earned victory: “It was very special playing in the Manolo Santana, this morning I was able to practise there a little to get a feeling for the dimensions and it really is a beautiful court”.
The Spaniard with Swiss roots arrived in Madrid in the form of her life, having reached her first final on the WTA Tour, and she is well aware of the impact this result could have on her future: “I’m so happy about the last few weeks and today I had a tough match against another Spaniard who is having a great season and I’m sure this will give me a lot of confidence, knowing that I’m good enough to play these matches”.
The home player has plenty more to give, though, and she cannot wait to play her second-round clash with Donna Vekic and plans to enjoy every minute of her time at the tournament: “I don’t set myself limits so I’ll go into every match by preparing with the confidence that I can win”.
Rebeka has not forgotten the fans and wanted to thank them for their support: “I thought the fans were great, there were two Spaniards playing and that meant they cheered us both on, but that was also really beautiful and the people of Madrid really got behind us”.