Jessica Pegula beat Kalinskaya after a crazy day: "We played a high level"

After two months out, the American wins a crazy tournament, winning the 4th career title, the first on grass-court

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Jessica Pegula beat Kalinskaya after a crazy day: "We played a high level"
© Inaki Esnaola / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Jessica Pegula triumphed at the WTA in Berlin at the end of a crazy tournament to say the least! The American returned to action in 's-Hertogenbosch after spending two months out due to a neck injury. In Holland she stopped in the 2nd round, losing against world number 400 Aleksandra Krunic. In Berlin however, Jez rediscovered her tennis, winning her fourth career title, her first on grass.

To win the title, Pegula had to spend a crazy and daring 24 hours. Around lunchtime (local hour - ed.), she played the semifinal against countrywoman Coco Gauff, winning an incredible match 7-5, 7-6(2). In the final, the American did the impossible, canceling five match points from Anna Kalinskaya and winning the match by (0)6-7, 6-4, 7-6(3).
Three times down a break, the Russian never gave up and managed to win in an incredible way a first set in which she suffered a lot.

Jessica Pegula beat Anna Kalinskaya
Jessica Pegula beat Anna Kalinskaya© Inaki Esnaola / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Pegula didn't make the same mistake twice and, in the second set, she mocked her rival again in response at 3-3 just after suffering the counter break in the previous game. The deciding set saw Pegula offer four match points at 4-5 and one at 5-6. On three occasions, Kalinskaya gave her a great hand by sinking two forehands and a backhand into the net. In the others, however, Pegula served well. The confidence she gained by overcoming these two moments ultimately allowed her to play the victory tie-break with even more courage.

"Congratulations to Anna and her coach. You guys had a really great year and you will definitely play like a top player. Keep up the good work. I'm sorry that today went like this. But I feel like we played at a really high level. It was a good match. We left everything out there," said Pegula in the on-court interview.

"Thank you so much for coming and making the atmosphere really special. It was an incredible week for me. I missed playing on grass. Getting to the final means a lot to me. Losing today is shocking, but Jez, congratulations to you. You're such a fighter. It's good to see you back on tour. I couldn't have asked for a better comeback. If we play like this every time against each other, I'll be happy for both of us. I want to say thank you to my coach we will go strong and improve day by day. To my family who always supports me, no matter what time of day or night it is," explained Kalinskaya.

Jessica Pegula