Jessica Pegula topples Coco Gauff to enter maiden WTA Finals' finale!

As had happened in the round-robin stage, only one finalist has been placed after rain wreaked havoc again

by Abbey Johnson
Jessica Pegula topples Coco Gauff to enter maiden WTA Finals' finale!
© Clive Brunskill/ Getty Images

On Saturday, Jessica Pegula was the first finalist to emerge at the WTA Finals, in Cancun. The American comprehensively beat her younger compatriot, 6-2, 6-1 after 60 minutes of play. The match featured multiple service breaks, almost all of which came on Gauff’s serve.

The fifth-seeded Pegula faced only two break points across the match and saved one of them. She, however, created 10 break point chances for herself on Gauff’s serve and made away with six of these opportunities. Pegula also had considerable success when it came to winning first-serve points, and on return – across Gauff’s first and second serves.

She won 21 of 27 points on her first serve. On first-serve return, the 29-year-old won 17 of 28 points and on second-serve return, she won 13 of 21 points. For the match, Pegula finished with 56 points. Nine of these were winners.

She was also helped by the 25 unforced errors Gauff hit. Speaking after the match, Pegula said, “I managed to get my act together at the end of the year,” Pegula told reporters afterward. “I’ve done a good job of resetting coming here.

It’s not fun leaving (Fort Worth, 2022) 0-6. I’m glad I’ve turned the tables. I found a way to make it work. I’m feeling confident going into the finals”.

WTA Finals: The changeover it's been for Jessica Pegula

Last year, when the WTA year-ender was played in Fort Worth, Texas, Pegula had not won any match.

In fact, both she and Gauff, had not only exited in the singles event in the round-robin stage, with similar 0-3 numbers, the duo had also exited the doubles event on a similarly disappointing note. Meanwhile, this year, alongside Pegula, who’s still yet to encounter a loss this week, the Gauff-Pegula doubles team’s still in the reckoning to make it to the semi-final.

Rain making an appearance again in the tournament on Saturday forced the rescheduling of the doubles round-robin match between Gauff-Pegula and Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva to Sunday. All three matches, the doubles’ semis and the final will be played on Sunday.

Sunday, at the WTA Finals, will also have the result of the singles semi-final between Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek. Sabalenka and Swiatek’s match also had to be rescheduled, when it was still on the fourth game. On Monday, the winner between Sabalenka and Swiatek will play Jessica Pegula, in the final.

Jessica Pegula Coco Gauff Wta Finals