The final of the Tokyo Open will be played between Veronika Kudermetova and Jessica Pegula, on Sunday. Their respective semi-finals played on Saturday saw them go through contrastingly. In the first semi-final, Kudermetova needed three sets and nearly three hours and 30 minutes to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
The eighth-seeded Kudermetova eventually won 7-6(6), 6-7(2), 6-3. Pavlyuchenkova had several chances to claim the opening set but wasn’t able to do so. The first two sets, despite culminating in the tie-break, saw both players exchange breaks.
In the deciding set, Pavlyuchenkova was the one who lost her serve and while she saved a handful of match points to thwart her rival from prevailing in their meeting, saving the fifth eluded her and gave the 19th-ranked 26-year-old, the opportunity to make it to the last round.
Tokyo Open: Jessica Pegula too good for Maria Sakkari
Meanwhile, in her semi-final, the second-seeded Pegula completed a 6-2, 6-3 victory over her fourth-seeded rival. The American needed two hours fewer than Kudermetova to get the win, getting it after 85 minutes of play.
Going into the match, Sakkari had led her opponent in their win-to-loss record, with five wins over her. However, on Saturday, Pegula gave the Greek no chance to show her dominant game that had seen her win a septet of matches in a row.
Pegula saved eight of the nine break points she faced and won a total of 70 points for the match. Of these, 21 were in the form of winners. The Tokyo Open’s the third time Jessica Pegula’s made it to a final of a WTA final in 2023. She’ll be looking to win a second crown for the year.