RANCHO SANTA FE, October 9, 2022 (by Steve Pratt)
Marcela Zacarias of Mexico will have the biggest day of her 10-year professional career on Sunday at the Rancho Santa Fe Open.
Zacarias will play in both the singles and doubles final of the USTA Women’s Pro Circuit $80,000 event taking place at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club. On Saturday, Zacarias came back to beat Florida wild-card Elvina Kalieva3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in the singles semifinals.
After dropping the first set, Zacarias raced out to a 5-1 lead, but Kalieva wasn’t going anywhere, reeling off five straight games to go up 6-5 and actually serve for the match. But Zacarias played a strong return game to force a tiebreak which she won before closing out the match in three sets.
Zacarias wants to meet Southern California’s Katrina Scott in Sunday’s 10 am singles final. Scott ended Australian qualifier Storm Sanders‘ memorable run this week, outlasting her, 6-3, 7-6 (5). It will be the first career $80,000 singles final for both Zacarias and the 18-year-old Scott.
Zacarias, 28, has been a mainstay on the ITF Futures Tour since she won her first ITF pro singles title in Mexico City in 2012, the same year she made her debut on Mexico’s Fed Cup team. During her career, Zacarias has won a total of 16 ITF singles titles and 27 in doubles.
Tennis fans may recognize Zacarias as she portrayed 14-time Grand Slam champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in last year’s “King Richard” on the life of the Williams family.
Zacarias’ biggest win as a pro came last year in Tyler, Texas, when she and Mexico’s Giuliana Olmos won the $80,000 ITF tournament. On Sunday, the pairing will have a shot at a second $80k doubles title when they take on Kalieva and Katarzyna Kawa of Poland following the singles final.
The younger sister of Uzbek-born and current Los Angeles Kings hockey player Arthur Kaliyev beat American Robin Montgomery in three sets earlier in the week.