Rebecca Marino serves during the 2021 US Open first round

Photo: camerawork usa

Rebecca Marino is out of the US Open following a 6-2, 6-3 loss to No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina in the first round on Monday. The 30-year-old, who was competing in the main draw in New York for the first time in a decade, has plenty of positives to take from the event after a stellar showing in qualifying.

Marino’s victories over Panna Udvardy of Hungary, Belgium’s Ysaline Bonaventure and Greet Minnen last week saw her into the first-round proper at the year’s final Grand Slam. Heading into the event, the Canadian was high on confidence following a career-best performance at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers where she made the Round of 16.

This was the first meeting of Marino and Svitolina’s careers. Playing on Court 17, where Félix Auger-Aliassime had won just a few hours earlier, Marino began the match confidently with three break point opportunities on Svitolina’s serve before a reassuring hold of her own having fended off a break point opportunity for her opponent.

However, she couldn’t repeat the feat at the second or third time of asking as the Ukrainian took a 4-2 lead and consolidated to 5-2 before breaking again to claim the set as Marino hit a backhand wide at 15:40.

Onto the second set and Svitolina was doing well to nullify the big-hitting Canadian. Marino tried to make her serve and forehand count, but the Ukrainian seemingly had all the answers as she shot out to a 2-0 lead thanks to early break. However, Marino found her rhythm and Svitolina had run out of answers to her powerful shots as the Canadian broke back immediately, hitting a cross-court forehand winner on break point.

The resurgence was short-lived for Marino, though, as Svitolina took control of the second set with another break which she then consolidated with a hold of serve to extend her lead to 4-1. The Ukrainian was cool, calm and collected on her way to victory as she won the last game to love to claim the set 6-3.

Remaining Canadians set to start US Open campaign on day two

Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil will get their US Open campaigns underway on Tuesday as they aim to join Fernandez and Auger-Aliassime in the second round. No. 7 seed Shapovalov is the first up as he takes on Federico Delbonis on Louis Armstrong Stadium, slated to start at 1:30 p.m.

Pospisil will face Italy’s Fabio Fognini, who is the No. 28 seed, with a scheduled start time of 3:30 p.m. on Court 10, while No. 6 seed Andreescu will star in the night session as her match against Viktorija Golubic of Switzerland is the last on Arthur Ashe Stadium. This will be the Canadian’s first US Open appearance since defeating Serena Williams 6-3, 7-5 to claim the title in 2019.