Jessica Pegula scored her first win over a reigning World No.1 within the first match of the United Cup Closing 4, racing previous Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2 in simply 71 minutes to present the US a 1-0 lead over Poland.
Pegula, whose earlier career-best win by rating had been over then-World No. 2 Naomi Osaka within the second spherical of Rome in 2021, had misplaced to Swiatek in all three of their 2022 encounters. However she had one prior victory to attract on, within the second spherical of Washington in 2019 en path to her personal maiden title, and added to that in fashion.
Swiatek was gradual out of the blocks, shedding the primary seven factors of the match — 5 with forehand errors. A slew of terrific winners enabled her to interrupt Pegula again from 40/0, however it was the American who maintained her preliminary momentum.
Pegula appeared totally at house on a court docket she has competed on all through the United Cup’s group phases. The 28-year-old teed off repeatedly on Swiatek’s serves, firing three clear return winners en path to breaking for 4-1. Not solely was her first-strike tennis in effective fettle, however Pegula was additionally in a position to out-rally Swiatek within the highest-octane baseline exchanges of the day, in the end tallying 21 winners to the Pole’s 18.
Swiatek confirmed intermittent flashes of inspiration with some wonderful volleying and overheads, however none led to any sustained momentum. Within the first set, Pegula gained 15 of her first 18 return factors; within the second, she misplaced solely 5 factors behind her serve and didn’t face a break level.
After one other Swiatek forehand went broad on match level, the 21-year-old’s sixteenth unforced error of the match, it should now be as much as her countryman Kacper Zuk to stage the tie for Poland. The ATP World No. 245 takes on Crew United States’ Frances Tiafoe. Zuk changed Daniel Michalski as a result of latter’s sickness.
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