The eighth seed, Veronika Kudermetova, defeated Jessica Pegula, the number four player in the world, with a score of 7-5 and 6-1 in the Pan Pacific Open championship match, which took place on Sunday in Tokyo. This victory gave Kudermetova her first title of the year and her second overall.
An aggressive Kudermetova wasted little time unleashing her strong strokes from the baseline and broke American Pegula early for a 3-0 lead. Still, she dropped her serve in the fifth game before allowing her opponent to pull even in the opening set. Kudermetova’s play was marked by aggression, and she wasted little time unleashing her powerful shots from the baseline.
Pegula committed an unexpected double fault, which allowed Kudermetova to take the first set. The Russian player, ranked 19th in the world, continued to up her game in the second set, racing out to a 5-1 lead before winning the match with a powerful serve on her third match point.
It was Kudermetova’s second win against Pegula this season, following her triumph in the quarterfinals of the Madrid tournament. It was also the fifth win for Kudermetova in her past six matches against opponents ranked in the top ten.
Earlier in the competition, the 26-year-old had successfully defeated Iga Swiatek, ranked second in the world.
“I’m pretty delighted with how today went for me in terms of my performance. It’s my second victory, and I’m pleased of myself,” Kudermetova said, whose first triumph was also a WTA 500 crown at Charleston in 2021. “It’s my second title, and I’m proud of myself.”
“Jessica is a tremendous player as well as a strong fighter, so I made sure to prepare myself for a challenging match… When you win a major event, it’s always a wonderful feeling.”
Pegula felt very good about herself after a successful week in which she did not lose a set until the championship match.
“It’s always great to give yourself a chance to win the tournament,” Pegula said. “It’s always great to give yourself a chance to win the tournament.”
“I’m still optimistic about that, as well as the level at which some of my matches have been played, particularly leading up to Beijing… She had a fantastic tennis match, but unfortunately, things don’t always work out.
Pegula will not be very discouraged, though, as the fact that she advanced so far in the tournament will allow her to make significant progress toward qualifying for the WTA Finals, which will be held in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the season.
She will compete in the season finals alongside Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, and Elena Rybakina, all of whom have qualified for the tournament. The season finale will begin later this month.