WTA

Maria Sakkari avenges Guadalajara defeat with victory over Jessica Pegula at WTA Finals

By Sports Desk October 31, 2022

Maria Sakkari defeated Jessica Pegula 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4) in the opening match of the WTA Finals on Monday in Fort Worth.

It was a highly anticipated first match after the same two competitors faced off in the Guadalajara Open final just eight days ago, with Pegula taking that contest 6-2 6-3 in convincing fashion.

That final lasted just 71 minutes, but the rematch would be a far more gruelling affair, with the first set alone reaching 73 minutes.

Illustrating the even nature of the contest, both players won exactly 52 out of 104 total points played in the opening set, with both players converting three of their five break point opportunities.

Sakkari created a slight edge in the second set, winning 52 per cent of the points (42-of-81) and creating four break point opportunities to Pegula's one.

Pegula took her only chance to break, and then saved two match points to force a tiebreak, but Sakkari would not be denied as she secured the victory and moved to the top of the Group B standings.

BREAK POINTS WON

Sakkari - 4/9

Pegula - 4/6

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Sakkari - 3/1

Pegula - 3/4

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS

Sakkari - 22/22

Pegula - 22/28

Related items

  • Top seed Carlos Alcaraz beaten by Jannik Sinner in China Open semi-finals Top seed Carlos Alcaraz beaten by Jannik Sinner in China Open semi-finals

    Jannik Sinner took the advantage in his sparkling rivalry with Carlos Alcaraz after dumping the top seed out of the China Open in the semi-finals.

    The pair had shared their opening six matches, including a US Open quarter-final that was arguably the best contest of last year.

    The first set in Beijing featured a succession of brilliant, hard-hitting rallies, with 22-year-old Italian Sinner twice coming from a break down to take it on a tie-break.

    And Alcaraz, 20, was unable to match his young rival in the second set, the errors beginning to flow in a 7-6 (4) 6-1 victory for Sinner, who struggled with sickness during his quarter-final on Monday.

    “Every match against him is very tough,” said the Italian. “We always show great respect. When we play against each other we try to stay on our limits and today I played a little bit better in the important moments.

    “Today it was my day and let’s see in the next meeting what’s coming. I always enjoy to play against him.”

    In the final, Sinner will take on second seed Daniil Medvedev, who again showed his hard-court prowess in a 6-4 6-3 win against Alexander Zverev.

    Britain’s Neal Skupski and Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof are through to the doubles final after a 7-6 (3) 6-2 win over Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev and will take on top seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.

    Meanwhile, Australian Marc Polmans was defaulted from his qualifying match at the Shanghai Masters for hitting the umpire in the face with a ball.

    Angry at not converting a match point against Italian Stefano Napolitano, Polmans smashed a ball hard towards the stands but struck British official Ben Anderson in a virtual replay of an incident involving Canadian Denis Shapovalov during a Davis Cup clash with Great Britain in 2017.

    The umpire on that occasion, Arnaud Gabas, was left with a fractured eye socket. Thankfully, Anderson appears to have escaped serious injury, with a tournament representative saying he was struck on the cheek and nose and had returned to his hotel to rest.

  • Manchester rivals suffer three o'clock woe Manchester rivals suffer three o'clock woe

    Manchester City and Manchester United both lost on Saturday, breaking a decade-old wait for the two rivals to fall to a defeat in a 3pm kick-off.

    It is rare for both United and City to play in the traditional Saturday slot, but that was the case as Erik ten Hag's side hosted Crystal Palace and Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions headed to Wolves.

    Yet neither team will be in a rush to remember this particular afternoon in a hurry, as they both lost in a 3pm Saturday kick-off for the first time since September 28, 2013. 

    United lost 1-0, with Joachim Andersen's goal making Roy Hodgson the first manager to go unbeaten in five successive Premier League trips to Old Trafford. City, meanwhile, went down 2-1 at Molineux, with Hwang Hee-chan getting the winner for Wolves.

    No Rodri, big problems

    City lost to Newcastle United in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and, without star midfielder Rodri – who was serving the second of a three-match suspension for the red card he received against Nottingham Forest – they found themselves on the end of a defeat again at Wolves.

    Since Rodri made his Premier League debut in August 2019, City have lost five of 15 matches without the Spaniard in the competition (W9 D1); by contrast, they have lost just five of their last 67 league games when Rodri has featured (W53 D9).

  • Bucks confident of returning to the top after Lillard trade Bucks confident of returning to the top after Lillard trade

    Damian Lillard will be tasked with helping the Milwaukee Bucks return to the top of the NBA after his trade from the Portland Trail Blazers. 

    Star guard Lillard signed for the Bucks on Wednesday in a three-way trade – which also included the Phoenix Suns – that saw Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton and Toumani Camara on the move too.

    Lillard leaves Portland after 11 years with the Trail Blazers. He is a seven-time All-Star and enjoyed a career-best season in 2022-23, averaging 32.2 points and 7.3 assists, though he did sit out the final month of the season due to injury.

    Now, the Bucks – the 2021 NBA Champions – will be hoping that Lillard can combine with two-time league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to push them towards another title, following a disappointing first-round exit at the hands of the Miami Heat in last season's playoffs.

    Fast Fact

    Despite missing the last 10 games of the season, Lillard (1,866) was Portland's highest points scorer last term by over 500, with Anfernee Simons next best for the Trail Blazers with 1,306.

    Lillard a difference-maker

    "His character, competitiveness, talent and experience complement our group and gives us the best chance to win at the very highest level as we create new memories together," Bucks general manager Jon Horst said of Lillard.

    So, does Lillard have what it takes to make the difference for the Bucks?

    Lillard leaves Portland as a franchise great. He ranks first in team history in points and three-pointers and second in assists. Including the playoffs, he had 17 games with 50+ points for the Blazers. All other players in franchise history have only combined for seven 50-point games. He is a big-game player, and he should help ease the burden on Antetokounmpo.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.