World No 7 Aryna Sabalenka has praised Jessica Pegula’s game ahead of their WTA Finals meeting as she expects a very tough job when she meets the American.
Sabalenka, 24, and 28-year-old Pegula are set to meet for the fifth time in their careers.
Going into their WTA Finals match, Sabalenka owns a 3-1 head-to-head versus Pegula.
Pegula defeated Sabalenka when they met in 2020 in Cincinnati, but since then the Belarusian has won their last three meetings.
At the WTA Finals, Sabalenka has a 1-1 record while Pegula stands at 0-2.
Both players still have a chance to qualify for the WTA Finals semifinal, but it is clear that Sabalenka’s chances are much better.
“She’s playing really great tennis, hitting the ball flat and deep. That’s why it’s tough to make her move. You’re just gonna have to go through the middle. She’s making her opponents really work for that, for every point,” Sabalenka told WTA Insider of facing Pegula.
Sabalenka on facing Pegula next: “She’s playing really great tennis, hitting the ball flat and deep. That’s why it’s tough to make her move. You’re just gonna have to go through the middle. She’s making her opponents really work for that, for every point.”#WTAFinals pic.twitter.com/EHKfoixY9W
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) November 3, 2022
Sabalenka ousted by Maria Sakkari
After beating Ons Jabeur in her first group stage match, Sabalenka took on Sakkari, who also won her first group stage match.
Sabalenka, who was aiming to clinch her second group stage win over Sakkari, didn’t manage to do so as the Greek won 6-2 6-4.
By beating Sabalenka, Sakkari clinched a semifinal ticket.
After the match was over, Sakkari said that playing aggressively was the key to her win over Sabalenka.
“If you’re not aggressive on this court, then it’s just game over. If I was passive, especially against [Sabalenka], the biggest hitter on the tour, then it’s just bye-bye. I just went for it. If I’m not going to go for it here, when am I going to do it?” Sakkari said after beating Sabalenka.
Even though Sabalenka lost against Sakkari, she still has a good chance to qualify but she needs to beat Pegula.