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WTA Guadalajara: Pegula wins biggest title of career
This was the second career singles title for Pegula, who heads into the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas with a big boost of confidence
American Jessica Pegula, the No 3 seed, won the biggest title of her career on Sunday at the Guadalajara Open – her first WTA 1000 Series title.
Pegula defeated fourth seed Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 10 minutes at the Centro Panamericano de Tenis in the late match on Sunday, hours after Sakkari won her rain-delayed semi-final on Sunday morning 7-5, 6-4 over Czech Marie Bouzkova.
“In the other finals I lost, I just feel like I was always a part of someone else’s story” she said. “Today I felt a little bit better. I felt like I’m writing my story.”
Jessica Pegula is world No3 this morning. “I’m not sure if a lot of people thought I would be at my ranking now or have as many chances as I’ve had”, the American added. “Just being able to prove people wrong, prove myself wrong a little bit, keep building, is probably what I’m most proud of.”
Pegula improved to 2-1 over Sakkari in 2022 but trails her Greek rival 3-2 in career head-to-head.
This was the first singles title of the year for Pegula, and the second of her career after Washington DC in 2019. She has also been a runner-up on the tour on three occasions – including Madrid this season and won five doubles titles – all coming this year.
Pegula has won most WTA 1000 matches since start of 2021on the tour
Pegula’s win over the sixth-ranked Sakkari came after she defeated four Grand Slam champions in a row to get to the final. The American defeated reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina (2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8)), saving three match points along the way, former US Open champions Bianca Andreescu (6-4, 6-4) and Sloane Stephens (6-2, 6-2), and former world No1 Victoria Azarenka (7-6 (3), 6-1) ahead of her victory.
The win was Pegula’s 41st singles win of the season – putting her in third position for most WTA singles wins – behind top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who has 62 wins, and second-ranked Ons Jabeur, who has 46 wins.
The win was also her 39th win at a WTA 1000 event since the start of 2021 – more than any other player on the women’s tour.
The American now heads to Fort Worth, Texas for the season-ending WTA Finals, where she has qualified for the singles and the doubles field, with countrywoman Coco Gauff.