World No.7 Aryna Sabalenka praised Jessica Pegula’s play ahead of their WTA Finals meeting as she expects some very hard work when she meets the American. Sabalenka, 24, and Pegula, 28, will meet for the fifth time in their careers.
Going into her WTA Finals match, Sabalenka owns a 3-1 heads-up against Pegula. Pegula defeated Sabalenka when they met in 2020 in Cincinnati, but the Belarusian has since won her last three meetings. In the WTA Finals, Sabalenka is 1-1, while Pegula is 0-2.
Both players still have a chance to qualify for the semifinal of the WTA Finals, but it is clear that Sabalenka’s chances are much better. «She’s playing very good tennis, hitting the ball flat and deep. That’s why it’s hard to get her to move.»
You’re going to have to go through the middle. She’s making her opponents really work for it, for every point,» Sabalenka told WTA Insider of facing Pegula.
Sabalenka on facing Pegula next: «She’s playing very good tennis, hitting the ball flat and deep.
That is why it is difficult to make it move. You’re going to have to go through the middle. He’s making his opponents really work for it, for every point.» #WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/EHKfoixY9W — WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) November 3, 2022
Sabalenka sent off by Maria Sakkari
After beating Ons Jabeur in their first group stage match, Sabalenka faced Sakkari, who also won their first group stage match.
Sabalenka, aiming for her second group stage win over Sakkari, fell short as the Greek prevailed 6-2 6-4. By beating Sabalenka, Sakkari secured a ticket to the semi-final. After she finished the match, Sakkari said that playing aggressively was the key to her victory over Sabalenka.
«If you’re not aggressive on this court, then it’s game over. If you were passive, especially against [Sabalenka], the biggest hitter on the tour, then it’s just goodbye. I only went for that. If I’m not going to try here, when will I?» Sakkari said after beating Sabalenka. Although Sabalenka lost to Sakkari, he still has a good chance to qualify, but he needs to beat Pegula.