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Qatar Open: Pegula moves into first singles final of 2023, defeats Sakkari
Jessica Pegula defeated Maria Sakkari 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 on Friday. She’ll face the winner of the match between Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, and Russian Veronika Kudermetova, the No 8 seed, for the title
American Jessica Pegula, the second seed, moved into her first singles final of 2023 by winning against Greek Maria Sakkari, the No 5 seed, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the semi-finals of the Qatar Open at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha on Friday.
In tough and windy conditions, the American kept her nerve despite the distractions from the weather.
“That was the hardest conditions I’ve ever had to play in…it was really, really tough. I’m glad I didn’t get too frustrated, I think I played very smart,” she said after reaching her sixth career singles final.
This was the second Doha semi-final of Pegula’s career, having reached the final four as a qualifier in her tournament debut two years ago – and losing to Sakkari in the third round last year.
She headed straight off court to prepare for the women’s doubles final alongside Coco Gauff, due to take place later on Friday.
Sakkari was a semi-finalist in Doha last year, and this was her seventh three-set match of 2023 – the third this week.
Pegula, ranked No 4, will face the winner of the match between Pole Iga Swiatek, the top seed, and Russian Veronika Kudermetova, the No 8 seed, next.
The American edged out Latvian Jelena Ostapenko (6-2, 2-6, 7-5) and beat Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia (6-3, 6-2) in the previous rounds of the Doha Open.
Earlier in the tournament, Sakkari, ranked No 7, defeated Chinese Qinwen Zheng (6-2, 3-6, 6-3), Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova (6-3, 6-2) and Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the No 3 seed (6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5)).
Doha WTA 500, other semi-final result (Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, hard, USD 780.637):
- Iga Swiatek vs. Veronika Kudermetova