Jessica Pegula played her opening-round match against fellow countrywoman, Peyton Stearns on Thursday. The world no. 4 needed an hour and 23 minutes to post a 6-3, 6-4 win over Stearns. Stearns fared better when it came to winning second-serve points, both on serve and return.
She won 52% of her second-serve points and 66% points on return on Pegula’s second serve. However, Pegula won 72% of her first-serve points and 62% points on return on Stearns’ second serve. This also set the tone of the match.
Pegula saved two of the five break points she faced and converted six break points on Peyton’s serve. For the match, Pegula hit three more winners than Stearns’ nine and had 10 fewer unforced errors than the latter’s 29.
After the match, Pegula reminisced about the time she won the tournament in 2019. Back then, it was also the maiden title of her career. She said, “I won my first title here with my coach in our first week together and since then we've just been rising and it's been an awesome journey.
That was a very big turning point for me”. In the quarters, Pegula’s opponent will be Elina Svitolina.
Citi DC Open: Marta Kostyuk's inspired play downs Caroline Garcia
In the other match of the day, Svitolina’s compatriot, Marta Kostyuk made her way into the quarter-finals following a win over second-seeded Caroline Garcia.
Kostyuk wrapped up a 6-2, 6-3 win over the world no. 6 in merely 64 minutes. Kostyuk kept her level high across her first and second serves. She lost only three of the 22 points played on her first serve and only six points of the 21 played on her second serve.
She also won 16 points on 28 played on return on Garcia’s second serve. For the match, Kostyuk saved the only break point she faced while converting four of eight break points that came her way on the Frenchwoman’s serve.
For a chance to reach the Citi DC Open’s semi-finals, Kostyuk will now face Liudmila Samsonova. Photo Credit: Citi DC Open Twitter