Pegula, Kudermetova advance to Pan Pacific Open final

Pegula of the United States beat Greek star Maria Sakkari, ranked sixth in the world, 6-2, 6-3.

Pegula said she was “super happy” with the win, adding: “I’m proud of the way I competed today.”

In Sunday’s final, she will face the 19th-ranked Kudermetova, who beat the American in Madrid this year.

“I will try to learn from the last time I played her,” said Pegula, who is aiming for her second title of the season following victory last month in Montreal.

Kudermetova had a tough semi-final, needing three hours and 25 minutes to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3.

But Pegula said this will give Kudermetova “a lot of confidence going into tomorrow”.

Sakkari said she “felt a bit tired” in the semi-final.

“Last week’s (tournament), travelling, the last matches, jetlag and everything didn’t help today,” she said.

“Jessica played really well on this court. It’s low-bounce, it’s fast. It’s great for her.”

Sakkari had ended her four-year wait for a second WTA title at the Guadalajara Open last week.

Kudermetova served 16 aces against Pavlyuchenkova, but said she “lost a little bit of concentration and started to play a little bit slow” in the second set.

It was important “to play aggressive”, said the 26-year-old, who stunned four-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek this week.

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