World No 3 Jessica Pegula acknowledged that the fast United Cup conditions definitely helped her beat Iga Swiatek for the first time in four years. Pegula, 28, destroyed Swiatek 6-2 6-2 in the United Cup semifinal tie between the United States and Poland.
In 2019, Pegula defeated Swiatek on the hard courts of Washington. Last year, Pegula suffered four straight-set defeats against Swiatek. “[The] conditions are totally different than anywhere else I’ve played her.
Obviously maybe I had a little bit of an advantage, they just flew in yesterday. Definitely the fastest conditions I have played her. Every other place I’ve played her has been pretty slow. I think that favoured me a lot, and I was able to use that to my advantage and play a really super clean match.
I think I just was able to execute my game plan probably better than I have previous times,” Pegula said after her win, per the WTA website.
How Pegula defeated Swiatek
Pegula broke Swiatek in the very first game of the match but the Pole broke back immediately in the following game.
After blowing an early break, Pegula broke Swiatek again in the third game. In the fourth game, Swiatek had a break point but Pegula saved it to go 3-1 up. Pegula continued to put pressure on Swiatek’s serve, breaking the Pole again in the fifth game to take a 4-1 lead and go up by a double-break.
In the seventh game – when Swiatek was serving to stay in the first set – she saved two break points to finally win her first service game. But that didn’t change the outcome of the first set as Pegula routinely served out for the opener in the eighth game.
After winning the first set, Pegula also started the second set with an early break in the third game. Pegula earned her second break of the set in the seventh game, before serving out for the match in the following game.