New world No 3 Jessica Pegula couldn't hide her happiness and excitement after becoming a WTA 1000 champion for the first time at the age of 28. On Sunday, Pegula saw off fifth-ranked Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-3 in the Guadalajara final.
Pegula, who has been one of the most consistent players this season, added another positive chapter to her great season by winning Guadalajara. "I’m just super excited, relieved, happy, like all the emotions. Dedicating it to my mom was extra special, I know she was watching back home.
Just a lot of emotions, but super excited just to get a big title next to my name. That was something I really wanted this year, and I kept saying it was one of my goals, so to be able to accomplish it at the end of the year is really cool.
I thought I just played really solid, I didn’t really make a lot of silly errors or stupid decisions. I served really smart, I returned well. There were a lot of different points where I had to maybe slice and come in, or serve and volley, or do something different, and I just didn’t panic, I just kind of did what I had to do to win the point, and it was working;" Pegula said after the match, per the WTA website.
How Pegula defeated Sakkari?
No break points were seen through the first three games as Sakkari was up 2-1 at the start of the first set. Then, Pegula went on a big run, having claimed back-to-back breaks to win five games in a row and win the opener in style.
After easily winning the first set, Pegula earned the first break of the second set in the third game to open a 2-1 lead. In the seventh game, Pegula broke Sakkari again to go 5-2 up. Pegula didn't manage to serve out for the match in the eighth game, but she broke Sakkari again in the ninth game, when the Greek was serving to stay in the final.