Pegula reaches her first WTA 1000 final after ousting Teichmann in Madrid

No.12 seed Jessica Pegula of the United States advanced to the biggest final of her career at the Mutua Madrid Open, defeating Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4 in their nightly semifinal clash.

In a match that stretched past midnight local time, it took Pegula 1 hour and 21 minutes to easily edge 35th-ranked Teichmann in their first meeting, booking a place in her first WTA final. 1000 and her fourth Hologic WTA Tour final overall.

“[Teichmann is] a super tricky left foot,” Pegula said after her win. “It was tough because I felt like I couldn’t have rhythm, really. Maybe at the beginning of the first set she came out a bit nervous and I was able to come out strong, which helped, but today was difficult.”

Jabeur awaits in the final: Pegula will now face another first-time WTA 1000 finalist, No.8 seed Ons Jabeur, in Saturday’s championship match. Jaber defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova in the previous semi-final on Thursday.

“For me and for Ons…she was ranked [in the seventies] like two years ago, I think it was the same, so it’s pretty crazy,” Pegula said. “It just shows you, hard work and determination, playing week after week, just trying to get better every week, you can come out on top every time. and when you believe So I think he’s great for both of them. It means a lot to me.”

The head-to-head between Pegula and Jabeur is tied 2-2, but this will be their first meeting on clay after four previous matches on hard courts. Pegula won the first two meetings (Quebec City 2018 and Montreal 2018), but Jabeur won the last two (Chicago 2021 and Dubai 2022).

Great Presentations: World No.14 Pegula was closing in on this moment after consistently strong results at WTA 1000 events over the past two years. Coming to Madrid, Pegula had reached the quarterfinals or higher in six of her last 11 WTA 1000 events.

Pegula has won a total of 28 WTA 1000-level matches during the 2021 and 2022 seasons. Only World No.1 Iga Swiatek has won more matches at that level during that time period, with 29.

A semi-final at the most recent WTA 1000 event in Miami set Pegula up for a deep run at the first clay-court WTA 1000 tournament of the season, though she did have to save a match point in her first-round match against Camila Giorgi this fortnight. .

Spurred on by that early breakaway, Pegula has not dropped a set in her remaining matches in Madrid. Pegula is now one win away from claiming her second career singles title, along with the champion trophy at the 2019 Citi Open in Washington, D.C.

Match breakdown: Both Pegula and Teichmann won at least half of their second serve points in their semi-final clash, but Pegula was particularly strong defending that shot, claiming 16 of her 23 second serve points.

Both made 13 unforced errors each, but Pegula with his flat shots found more winners that day, with 22 to Teichmann’s 12. Those game winners helped Pegula build an early lead, putting her within a point of a quick 4-0 lead.

But Teichmann, who had previously not dropped a set all week, was able to get his serve back at 3-2. Pegula, however, regained her break lead in the next game, and the American found multiple forehand winners to hold serve in the final game of the set.

Teichmann again recovered from an early break in the second set, reaching parity at 4-4. But Pegula prevailed in rallies to beat the Swiss once again and serve for the match at 5-4. Pegula came back from 0-30 in that game to secure his place in the final.

“[The quarterfinal against Sara Sorribes Tormo] It made me be patient, because they both play a heavy ball, and they both try to hit my backhand hard,” Pegula said. “I was just trying to neutralize the ball and not get too impatient, so it really put that on my mind today.”

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