Pegula on how she saved match points to beat Potapova: ‘No idea!’

Jessica Pegula fought through to set up a semi-final showdown with Elena Rybakina in Miami

Jessica Pegula Mar 28, 2023; Miami, Florida, US; Jessica Pegula (USA) serves against Anastasia Potapova (not pictured) on day nine of the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. (AI/Reuters/Panoramic)

It could have been the humidity, it could have been the late hour (gone 1am in Miami) – but Jessica Pegula had no explanation for how she managed to save two match points to beat Anastasia Potapova and make it through to the Miami Open semi-final.

Asked after the match to define the key to her 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) win, she replied: “No idea. I mean, I don’t know. I was just competing and I was trying to play my game or have my game plan. She was just playing fearless, just going for her shots and moving well and just returning well.

“I think the key was just not to get too frustrated and just try and stay at least one break in that third, even though I was like gassed, just try and see what happens. I knew regardless she was going to get tight trying to close it out. I think she got a little tight, and I was just able to take my chances, I guess.”

Pegula: Rybakina and Sabalenka are the ones to beat

The 29-year-old admitted that she was flagging in the third set, adding: “I haven’t been that physically tired in just a really long time. Just the humidity was taking so much out of me, and I haven’t been able to play in humidity like that in a while.

“It was just really tough, so really, it was just pure will. Yeah, it means a lot.”

She next faces Elena Rybakina, who she beat in this tournament last year, in the round of 32 – but the Kazahkstan star was a very different prospect then, before she won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon.

“I’m just going to have to go out there and compete and play my game. I mean, she’s been playing some great tennis. I feel like her and Sabalenka are the ones to beat right now, so it’s going to be a great test and I think a deserved semi for a tournament like this.”

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