In a nail-biting showdown on Saturday, Jessica Pegula emerged victorious against top-ranked Iga Swiatek to secure her spot in the Omnium Banque Nationale final. The 29-year-old American exhibited remarkable determination by breaking Swiatek’s serve a total of 11 times during the intense three-set match. The final score was 6-2 6-7(4) 6-4.
Both players had trouble holding serves, with Swiatek also managing to break Pegula’s serve eight times. The match witnessed a total of only 11 successful service games out of 30 combined.
“I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t holding,” Pegula spoke about the challenges she encountered. “But then at the same time I knew she was having trouble holding as well. I was just like, ‘I know I’ll get more chances if I can just … hold.’ Basically, it was whoever could kind of consolidate the break.”
The match lasted 2 hours and 30 minutes, with Pegula sealing her victory by breaking Swiatek’s serve one final time. Notably, Pegula had a chance to conclude the match earlier, serving with a 5-4 lead in the second set. However, Swiatek’s resilience came through as she broke Pegula’s serve and eventually claimed the set in a tiebreaker.
Pegula contemplated whether the service struggles could be attributed to the new Wilson extra duty balls being tested during the tournament. “I don’t know why this week all of us seem to be really having trouble, even girls that are considered the best servers on tour. It’s weird,” Pegula pondered. She speculated that the unique characteristics of the new balls, such as their slightly heavier nature, might be affecting players’ performance on the court.
Pegula’s final opponent will be determined after the postponed semifinal between Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova concludes on Sunday.