Pegula tops Swiatek to advance to National Bank Open finals

Jessica Pegula was unavailable on Saturday. lucky for you So is her opponent.

The Americans thrashed world No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland 11 times en route to a 6-2, (4) 6-7, 6-4 victory in an unusual playoff where serve appeared to be at a major disadvantage at National Bank. Open

“I was frustrated that I didn’t hold back,” said Pegula, who broke her heart eight times. “But at the same time, I also know that she has trouble holding on as well.

“I’m like, I know I’ll get more chances if I can…hold it. Basically anyone who can collect the breaks.”

Pegula was ranked 4th in the tournament. advanced to the finals on Sunday. She will face the winner of the semi-final between third-seeded Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan and 15th-seeded Liudmila Samsonova of Russia.

Pegula will have to wait until Sunday afternoon to learn who her opponent will be when the game is canceled in Montreal due to inclement weather. The semifinals are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET and the final is expected to be played later in the evening.

This was Pegula’s first time in an NBO finals after being eliminated in the semi-finals two years ago.

Pegula led 5-4 in the third set, breaking Swiatek one last time after the top seed hit two long shots to clinch victory in two hours and 30 minutes on a sunny afternoon at the IGA Stadium.

Both opponents won only 11 of their 30 serve games combined.

Pegula had a chance to finish the race much earlier, taking a 5-4 lead in the second set and serving, but Swiatek stopped serving to survive and eventually won the set via a tiebreak.

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And how to explain why players put in so much effort on the serve? Pegula can’t say for sure. But wondered if it might have something to do with the new tennis ball.

WTA players are testing Wilson’s special duty ball instead of normal duty. For the first time on hard court this week through next week. and in the US Open at the end of August/early September

“I don’t know why this week we were all really struggling, even the girls who were considered the best servers on tour. It was weird,” Pegula said. it flies a little it’s spinning I know it’s also the first week we used the Wilson special duty ball.

“They’re a little heavier. So they rarely fall off the racket either. Maybe we are not used to it.”

Swiatek — 71 weeks in a row at No. 1 — made an unprecedented number of errors throughout the tournament. This includes four double mistakes.

“I know what I have to do to push you. Sometimes I can do that. Sometimes I make more mistakes. And I think that’s the difference,” said Swiatek. “But I tried to be aggressive throughout the game.”

Pegula, who twice beat teammate Coco Gauff on Friday, is on her way to her second WTA final this year.

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The 29-year-old took her career title tally to three with Sunday’s victory. She hasn’t won a race this season.

Whether she plays Samsonova or Rybakina, who plays until 3am local time on Saturday morning, Pegula says her approach will be the same.

“Two similar players, big serve, big hit, really like shooting, both really tall, female,” she said. I feel like it’s a game with a very similar strategy. Trying to steal their serve And do my best to play my game.”

The serve was unmatched early on Saturday, Pegula crashed three times and Swiatek crashed twice to start the race. Which is filled with many long gatherings

Pegula, who deals a lot of damage with her forehand. Eventually breaking through in the sixth game, he scored four straight to take his first win and take a 4-2 lead.

And Pegula doesn’t end there. She made another mistake when Swiatek continued to make unforced errors while serving, despite taking 86 percent of her first serve into play.

The American then deftly took the set, sealing it with an ace.

Swiatek opened the second set strong. Finally won the first serve game of the tournament.

The pattern from the first set then continued as both players attempted to gain momentum on serve.

Swiatek and Pegula both broke twice in a row before the Americans tied 3-3 in sets.

The players then returned to destroy each other until Swiatek and Pegula were both 6-6 before the tiebreak, as “Cotton Eye Joe” from Swedish music group Rednex began blaring from the center field speakers.

“I just thought it was funny. I’ve never had that happen, even Cotton Eye Joe alone,” Pegula says. ‘Is this really happening now?’ I love all the songs. It’s as if ‘what happened'”

Pegula lost the ensuing five points and tiebreak before trailing 2-0 to Swiatek early in third. But she came back knowing she always had the chance to break back the way the race was going.

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