MIAMI: Jessica Pegula on Monday produced a sublime performance to defeat Magda Linette and enter the Miami Open quarterfinals.
The No.3 seed Pegula scored a 6-1, 7-5 win over No.20 Linette to advance to her fourth quarterfinal of 2023. Next up for Pegula is No.27 Anastasia Potapova, a 6-4, 7-6 (4) winner over No.23 Zheng Qinwen.
Pegula, who was dissatisfied with two sluggish starts at Indian Wells, appears to have fixed the issue. She had already hit seven winners and won the opening three games nine minutes into the match with Linette. Only 19 minutes had passed when it was already 5-0, and the first set was over after 28 minutes.
The momentum in the second set completely changed, with Linette grabbing a 5-2 advantage. She broke her serve twice while serving for the set, and Pegula levelled the game at 5-all. Pegula ultimately prevailed in the last five games.
“Everything was working, and then in the second set things got tough. I felt like I was going for too much at times. But I’m glad I was able to get some energy there and finish in two,” WTA.com quoted Pegula as saying.
“It’s going to be really tough. I just played her in Indian Wells and we really had a battle. She was playing at a really high level. She has been, for the last two, three tournaments she’s been playing well. She’s confident right now, she’s swinging for the fences,” Pegula said of Potapova.
“I think she probably likes these conditions a little fast. I’m going to take what I learned from playing her last time and I’m sure she’s going to do the same thing and we’re going to have a good match,” she added.
On the other hand, Potapova and Zheng both scored 68 points in the end, but Potapova performed better under pressure. She successfully completed four of five break attempts while maintaining composure in the second-set tiebreaker.
Three serves were broken in the opening set, with the last one coming to Potapova for a 5-3 advantage. She recovered from a love-30 deficit while serving for the set at 5-4, winning the last point with strong defence and a forehand that Zheng couldn’t handle at the net.
At 4-all in the tiebreaker, Zheng made three consecutive backhand faults that allowed Potapova to advance.
“I was pretty close to getting this win, but she was better that day. I worked on some things since then, and I really hope it’s going to work,” Potapova said. (ANI)