The 25-year-old Jessica Pegula had a rock-solid start of 2019, reaching finals in Newport Beach and Midland to crack the top-100, never finding that rhythm again and losing the last main draw matches on the Tour, barely ranked inside the top-80.
That has all changed in Washington this week where Pegula toppled Katerina Siniakova, Iga Swiatek, Lauren Davis and Anna Kalinskaya to advance into the ninth professional final, the second on the WTA level after Quebec City in 2018.
Jessica lost the previous eight title matched and Sunday was her day to finally celebrate the first crown, toppling Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 in 59 minutes to join the first-time winners on the Tour in 2019. The two had played three times in 2011 and 2012 and it was all about the American in the fourth encounter, dropping 12 points in eight service games and fending off the only break point she faced to mount the pressure on the other side of the net.
Giorgi was unable to deal with it, dropping half of the points in her games and suffering four breaks from six chances offered to Pegula, staying on two WTA titles from seven finals. Jessica kicked off the encoutner with a break at 15 after a forehand error from Camila, hitting three winners in game two to cement the advantage and gain an early boost.
After four powerful holds on both sides, Pegula broke at love to move 5-2 in front, sealing the opener with a forehand down the line winner in the next game for a 6-2 in 24 minutes. The Italian sprayed a forehand error at the beginning of the second set to suffer another break, wasting a break chance in the next game and finding herself 4-1 down after another break from Jessica who was now marching towards the finish line.
Serving for the title at 5-2, the American held at 15 to cross the finish line and start an emotional celebration of her career-best result in front of the home fans.