Jessica Pegula defeats Iga Swiatek

Jessica Pegula upset Iga Swiatek to go to the Canadian Open final, where she defeated Samsonova

(Tennis news) In Montreal, where persistent rain postponed the start of the other semifinal between Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova until Sunday, Jessica Pegula defeated world No. 1 Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4 on Saturday to advance to the Canadian Open final.

The final will start “after suitable rest” and no earlier than 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, with Rybakina and Samsonova’s match beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT). The winner will have little break before the final.

Pegula, the third-ranked American in the world, broke Swiatek’s serve 11 times while competing in her third straight Canadian Open semifinal. She also handled the match’s pivotal moments better than the four-time Grand Slam champion.

“She always makes it tough but of course it’s incredibly rewarding to beat the number one player in the world and I am sure that will give me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow and the next couple weeks,” Pegula said securing a spot in her first Canadian Open final.

Both players struggled to hold serves until Pegula held to love for a 4-2 advantage. The American then went up a double break before delivering two aces on her subsequent service game to end the first set.

After beginning the second set with her first service hold of the day and two breaks to take a 3-1 lead, Swiatek appeared to have found her rhythm.

After breaking Swiatek for the seventh time, Pegula fought back and took the lead at 5-4, but Swiatek levelled the score and eventually forced a tiebreaker, making it impossible for Pegula to serve out the match.

In Montreal, a long week of women’s tennis came to a swift conclusion with Jessica Pegula winning the title.

The American defeated Liudmila Samsonova in the final by scores of 6-1, 6-0 to claim her third WTA singles championship overall and second at the WTA 1000 level. Since Serena Williams’ victory in Toronto ten years ago, she is the first American woman to claim the singles title north of the border. The most recent Montreal winner was Monica Seles in 1998.

Pegula broke Samsonova five times, had 16 wins, including five aces, to only three unforced errors throughout the match, and didn’t lose a point after her own first serve. She also never encountered a breaking point.

“It feels great. I had, again, really consistent results all year this year: Finals at Doha, semis last week of D.C., a couple more quarterfinals,” Pegula told reporters after the match. “I worked through. Beating Coco [Gauff, in the quarterfinals] and beating Iga [Swiatek in the semifinals] were two really tough wins back-to-back, and being able to do that and then just come out today and play a really clean match was kind of great.

“I felt like I didn’t have a ton of pressure at any point or I wasn’t worried too much today. But, yeah, it’s always nice. We’re out on tour to win tournaments and to win titles every single week, but tennis can be really tough where you sometimes lose a lot. Even when you’re winning a lot of matches, you’re still not winning tournaments, so it can get tough.

“Winning a week like this week makes it all worth it and makes you want to keep going for more. I’ll be right back at it tomorrow in Cincinnati.”

Samsonova, who was taking part in her first WTA 1000 final, found four matches in less than 36 hours to be too much after already having two Top 5-wins for the week.

Prior to rain delaying her semifinal matchup against No. 3 seed Elena Rybakina from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon, the 15th seed defeated No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka and No. 12 seed Belinda Bencic back-to-back on Friday. She defeated the Kazakh 1-6, 6-1, 6-3, but lost 11 straight games to Pegula, who she was 1-2 all-time against, in three three-setter matches, entering the final.

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