Sakkari, the No 8 seed in women’s singles at the US Open, was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Spanish world number 71 Rebeka Masarova on Monday. Following her surprise defeat, the tennis player complained to the chair umpire about a particular smell.
Marijuana is not allowed within the confines of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, but Sakkari reportedly pointed out that it might have been people at the park directly behind the stadium.
“It wasn’t the smell that affected the score in any way ... Sometimes you smell food, sometimes you smell cigarettes, sometimes you smell weed. I mean, it’s something we cannot control because we’re in an open space,” she added. “There’s a park behind. People can do whatever they want.”
The loss to Masarova is Sakkari’s third consecutive defeat in the first round of a Grand Slam this year. Sakkari broke down in tears after her defeat, adding during a post-game interview that she may need to take a break, according to Tennis World.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do, I’m suffering on the court. I’m trying to do everything to improve myself. When I don’t influence the game, it allows my opponents to play well,” Sakkari said. “My opponent? She’s a very good player. She’s a strong girl.”