Korea Open: Jessica Pegula holds steady against a valiant Claire Liu to reach SF

Yanina Wickmayer, Yue Yuan and Emina Bektas completed the line-up for the penultimate round

by Abbey Johnson
Korea Open: Jessica Pegula holds steady against a valiant Claire Liu to reach SF
© Emmanuel Wong/ Getty Images

Top seed Jessica Pegula took her place in the semi-finals of the Korea Open on Friday. Pegula got through a derby against Claire Liu in two hours and 27 minutes, in which she also fought to overturn the opening set’s deficit to take her place in the next round.

The final score read 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 in Pegula’s favour. In the first set, Pegula won only five of 18 points played on her second serve. As the match wore on, she improved her serve and return stats considerably putting her opponent under tremendous pressure to play at the level she’d been doing in the first set.

In the second set, Pegula saved all three break points she faced. In the deciding set, she didn’t face any break point at all. In the latter two sets, the world’s fourth-ranked player won 82% and 92% first-serve points in the second and third sets, respectively.

After two consecutive matches against fellow American opponents, Pegula will now play Yanina Wickmayer for a chance to reach the final.

Korea Open: Jessica Pegula's the only seed remaining in Seoul

Wickmayer had an easier finish against first-time WTA quarter-finalist, Polina Kudermetova.

The Belgian wrapped up a 6-3, 6-1 win over the latter in merely 65 minutes. Yue Yuan posted an upset in her quarter-final match. The Chinese took out fourth seed Marie Bouzkova in two hours and 49 minutes, 7-5, 7-6(7). Yuan will play Emina Bektas in the semi-final of the Korea Open.

Like her compatriot Jessica Pegula, Bektas, too, needed three sets and a comeback attempt against Kimberly Birrell. Eventually, after nine minutes past two hours, Bektas won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Jessica Pegula Claire Liu Yanina Wickmayer