US Open Roundup: Eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari complains about ‘weed’ smoke wafting in from the crowd in upset loss as No. 4 seed Holger Rune is stunned by Spain’s  Carballes Baena

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US Open Roundup: Eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari complains about ‘weed’ smoke wafting in from the crowd in upset loss as No. 4 seed Holger Rune is stunned by Spain’s  Carballes Baena

  • Spaniard Rebeka Masarova downed eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4
  • Sakkari complained about the smell of pot. Marijuana is legal in New York
  • DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news

Long known for noisy spectators and noisier LaGuardia Airport, the US Open is now offering a new distraction to tennis stars: The odor of marijuana.

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Spaniard Rebeka Masarova downed eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4, with the Greek star complaining afterward that she was bothered by the smell of marijuana during her loss.

‘The smell, oh my gosh,’ Sakkari said to the chair umpire in the first set. ‘It was weed.’

Recreational pot has been legal in New York State since 2022, but the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is a smoke-free facility, so whomever was smoking was in jeopardy of being ejected. USTA spokespeople did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com’s request for further information.

Sakkari’s second-hand smoking was hardly the only upset on the first day in Queens, where No. 4 seed Holger Rune suffered a shocking first-round ouster. 

Maria Sakkari of Greece cools off between sets against Rebeka Masarova of Spain

Maria Sakkari of Greece cools off between sets against Rebeka Masarova of Spain

Spaniard Rebeka Masarova (right) downed eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari (left) 6-4, 6-4

Spaniard Rebeka Masarova (right) downed eighth-seeded Maria Sakkari (left) 6-4, 6-4

Spaniard Roberto Carballes Baena, ranked 63rd, downed Rune 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, on Monday for his first-ever victory over a top-10 player. The 20-year-old Dane reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon to break into the top five.

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On the women’s side, No. 1-ranked defending champion Iga Swiatek needed just 58 minutes to beat Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-0, 6-1.

Tenth-seeded American Frances Tiafoe, a 25-year-old from Maryland who reached the semifinal at last year’s U.S. Open, had little trouble in a 6-2, 7-5, 6-1, victory over wild-card countryman Learner Tien.

Dominic Thiem, the 2020 champion who is unseeded this year, downed 25th-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-2, 6-4. Thiem, an Austrian who had lost his previous seven Grand Slam matches dating to the 2021 Australian Open, next faces American Ben Shelton, who defeated Argentine Pedro Cachin in four sets.

No. 4 seed Holger Rune became the tournament's first big upset victim on Sunday in Queens

No. 4 seed Holger Rune became the tournament’s first big upset victim on Sunday in Queens

Still to come are matches with Coco Gauff on the women’s side, and Novak Djokovic on the men’s.

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Gauff, a 19-year-old from Florida, faces Laura Siegemund of Germany, who won the women’s doubles title in New York three years ago. Gauff was the runner-up at the French Open in singles — losing to Swiatek — and doubles in 2022.

Wrapping things up in the main stadium will be 23-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic against Alexandre Muller of France, who is making his U.S. Open debut. It marks a return to the event for Djokovic, who missed it last year because he couldn’t travel to the United States as a foreigner who is not vaccinated against COVID-19. That rule has been dropped.

The first round is played over Monday and Tuesday. The tournament lasts two weeks and wraps up with the women’s singles final on September 9, and the men’s singles final on September 10.

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