RANCHO SANTA FE, October 10, 2022 (by Steve Pratt)
Marcela Zacarias of Mexico captured the biggest professional tennis title of her career on Sunday at the Rancho Santa Fe Open as she topped fellow unseeded player Katrina Scott from Woodland Hills, Calif., 6-1, 6-2, in 1 hour, eight minutes, to win the USTA Pro Circuit $80,000 tournament that concluded at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club.
Zacarias, who saw the top half of the draw open up after top-seeded and defending champion Rebecca Peterson withdrew because of a neck injury before play began on Tuesday, played in a second finals match Sunday as she and partner Giuliana Olmos fell in the doubles final in an exciting match that ended with a 10-point tiebreaker after the teams split sets.
“I’ve been out here doing this for 11 years and I wasn’t going to leave without winning a big one,” an emotional Zacarias told the crowd after the match. “Yeah, for sure this is the biggest day of my career. I keep playing and improving myself. It’s pretty tough out here at times, and I’m just so happy that all my hard work has paid off.”
Zacarias, who entered the tournament with a world ranking of No. 166 and won her 17th career ITF singles title, takes home a check for $12,1912 and 115 valuable ranking points.
Scott has been a top United States prospect for the past several years and decided to relocate to Columbus, Ohio, in 2020 during the pandemic to train with renowned coach David Kass.
“I have to give all the credit to Marcela, she played a great match,” said Scott, who earned $6,518 and 70 WTA points. “I came out a little bit slow, but nothing to take away from her.”
After falling in the first set, Scott said she just tried to stay positive. “It’s always tough when you’re losing, but I was just trying to find the court a little and flip things around, which sometimes you can do, but today just wasn’t one of those days.”
Like Zacarias, Scott was playing in the biggest final of her young career. “It means my hard work is paying off,” said Scott, who next heads to Las Vegas for a $60K event. “This is just the first of many.”
Following the singles final, Elvina Kalieva of Florida and Katarzyna Kawa of Poland were able to put a damper on Zacarias’ best day with a 6-1, 3-6, 10-2 win to capture the doubles title. The pair will split $4,460.