Tatjana Maria Defeats Peyton Stearns in Three-Set Thriller at Madrid Open

Tatjana Maria stages thrilling comeback at Madrid Open, defeating Peyton Stearns in 3 sets. Highlights challenges of pro tennis players balancing motherhood.

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Salman Khan
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Tatjana Maria Defeats Peyton Stearns in Three-Set Thriller at Madrid Open

Tatjana Maria Defeats Peyton Stearns in Three-Set Thriller at Madrid Open

In the first round of the 2024 Mutua Madrid Open in Spain, Germany's Tatjana Maria staged a comeback after dropping the first set to defeat Peyton Stearns of the United States 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (5) in a three-set thriller. The match, played on Tuesday at 1:30 pm local time on the Arantxa Sanchez Stadium, lasted two hours and 48 minutes.

Stearns, currently ranked world no. 87, took an early lead in the first set but Maria, ranked 67th, fought back to level the score, eventually winning the set in a tiebreaker. Maria then secured three service breaks in the second set to level the match. In the decisive third set, Stearns took an early lead, but Maria fought back to level the score and eventually won the tiebreaker to clinch the victory.

Maria expressed that it was a battle from the start, and she persevered through the challenging moments to emerge victorious. "It was a fight from the first point," Maria said. "I tried to stay aggressive and keep going despite falling behind early in the deciding set."

This was the second meeting between Maria and Stearns, with Maria now leading the head-to-head 2-0 after winning their previous encounter in Bogota in 2023. Maria, a mom of two, is competing at the tournament while her eldest child, 10-year-old Charlotte, is making her debut at an under-12 event in Greece.

Why this matters: Maria's win marks her second-ever main-draw victory at the Caja Magica, showcasing her resilience and competitive spirit. The match highlights the challenges and triumphs faced by professional tennis players who are also balancing motherhood.

In other action, wild-card Alexandra Eala of the Philippines pulled off a big upset, defeating No. 41 Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. The day's slate was limited to just eight matches, with other winners including Anna Karolina Schmiedlova, Xiyu Wang, Anastasia Potapova, Irina-Camelia Begu, Arantxa Rus, and Nadia Podoroska.

Maria will next face another successful mom on the Hologic WTA Tour, Victoria Azarenka, who received a bye into the second round. The match promises to be an exciting battle between two determined and experienced players.

Key Takeaways

  • Tatjana Maria staged a comeback to defeat Peyton Stearns 6-7(4), 6-2, 7-6(5).
  • Maria and Stearns' match lasted 2 hours and 48 minutes.
  • Maria is competing at the tournament while her daughter makes her debut.
  • Alexandra Eala upset No. 41 Lesia Tsurenko 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
  • Maria will next face Victoria Azarenka in the second round.