Maria Sakkari qualified for the final in Washington

Maria Sakkari qualified for the final in Washington

The last time that Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari had faced each other, it was already in the semi-finals of a WTA 500, in Doha, and the American had imposed herself by showing a much more complete game. In Washington, the Greek took her revenge (notably thanks to 36 winners) and a clear advantage in her face-to-face with Pegula (she now leads 5-3).

Unlike in Doha, Sakkari has been much more authoritarian in Washington. In the first set, she took her first opportunity to break Pegula to lead 2-1. A double break allowed him to pocket the first set. With a heavier ball, a certain ability to transform his defense into attack, Sakkari had taken the measure of his opponent perfectly.

She remained on this dynamic in the second set where she was going to break again quickly (3-1). But the Greek mechanics then jammed and Pegula was able to use his grazing balls again, so difficult to raise when you are not in good conditions. Led 2-4, the American lined up four games to come back level against an opponent who was starting to force her shots too much.

Was Sakkari going to smash her head again on the glass ceiling represented by the semi-finals this season (5 halves this season before Washington, but still no final)? No, not this time. Sakkari quickly regained his state of mind from the first set. She was making the effort not to panic, to regain her concentration. Pegula got away with defending four break points in the first game of the third set. It was backing up to better jump. Again incredible in terms of ground coverage, Sakkari would take the opposing serve twice to win and qualify for his first final of the season (6-3, 4-6, 6-2).


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