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Surging Pegula pushes past Sasnovich

Jessica Pegula continued her winning ways on Wednesday in Melbourne, topping Aliaksandra Sasnovich to progress to round 3.

Jessica Pegula Australian Open 2023 Jessica Pegula Australian Open 2023 || AI / Reuters / Panoramic
Australian Open •Second round • completed
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American Jessica Pegula is gradually gaining traction in discussions of potential title winners at the first Grand Slam of 2023. The 27-year-old, on the heels of a breakout season in 2023 that saw her rise into the WTA’s top three for the first time, has shown no signs of slowing down in 2023.

First, she blitzed past Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-2 at United Cup – a statement if there ever was one – as she guided Team USA to the crown at the inaugural event in Sydney.

Here in Melbourne she is picking up where she left off and has yet to drop a set through two rounds after her 6-2 7-6(5) victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Day 3.

The American won 19 of 27 second-serve return points and broke serve five times to lock up her victory in 91 minutes.

After the match Pegula talked about how good she feels playing on the fast-playing hard courts at Melbourne.

Pegula loves the playing conditions in Melbourne

“I think my game just really suits the conditions,” she said. “The courts are pretty fast. The ball stays pretty low. I hit pretty flat. So I like that I can get into a good rhythm and kind of hit my way through the court. So I feel like the conditions kind of suit my game really well.”

Pegula reached the quarter-finals last year before falling to eventual champion Ash Barty. The American is slated to run into Swiatek in the semi-finals if the seeds hold, but she knows there is a lot of tennis to be played prior to that.

Pegula will face either Australian wild card Olivia Gadecki or Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk in the third round.

“I think every tournament you want to take one match at a time but at the same time, you still want to have those big goals and I think definitely going as far as possible these few weeks is my main priority, but it’s tough out there. So I’m just trying to get one match at a time.”

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