After Iga Swiatek secured the top position in the Tracy Austin Group on Thursday, Friday’s WTA Finals action established Maria Sakkari as the leader in the Nancy Richey Group and Aryna Sabalenka as the second qualifer for the semifinals in Fort Worth.
Aryna Sabalenka opened the last round of matches in the Nancy Richey Group on Friday with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Jessica Pegula.
Later on, Pegula also lost her final doubles match with fellow American Coco Gauff, so she’s leaving the WTA Finals winless in all three singles and doubles matches.
It’s tough but that’s tennis. You have one good week, and then you’re right back at it the next. There’s a lot of really high highs and low lows.
You end the year well and then I come here, lose all my matches. This is the same [# of losses I’ve had] in like three months.
The straight-set win maximized Sabalenka’s chances of qualifying for the semifinals, but she still needed Sakkari to win at least one set against Ons Jabeur in the subsequent match. The Belarusian advanced to the semifinals when Sakkari won the opening set of the late match against Jabeur. Sakkari, the last player to qualify for the tournament but the first to secure a semifinal spot, beat Jabeur 6-2 6-3 to grab the No.1 position in her group.
We now have one semifinal pair set at the WTA Finals in Texas: Iga Swiatek vs. Aryna Sabalenka. Maria Sakkari will next face the winner of Saturday’s Tracy Austin Group match between Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia.