The WTA Finals opened Monday in Fort Worth, Texas with two round robin matches. While the crowd was virtually non-existent (under 1,000?), the play was sprited.
In the first match, Maria Sakkari avoided a first set collapse and took care of American No. 1 Jessica Pegula in two breakers 7-6(6), 7-6(4).
Sakkari served for the first but failed and then lost a 3-0 lead in the second only to take another breaker.
“I was very aggressive,” Sakkari said after. “If you’re passive, Jess is just going to make you run, she’s going to hit the ball very hard, and it’s over.
“I think it’s always easier for the player that loses the first match than the player that wins. The player that wins has all the pressure. I don’t think it ever crossed her mind that it’s going to be an easy match because she beat me a week ago. I never felt like she underestimated me today.”
In the evening, Aryna Sabalenka rallied to spoil Ons Jabeur’s WTA Finals debut with a nailbiting 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5.
Jabeur, who made two Slam finals on the year, was in command leading 6-3, 5-3 and two points from the win before the Belarussian mounted the comeback. The Tunisian also led 4-2 in the third.
Tomorrow, the Tracy Austin group takes center stage with World No. 1 Iga Swiatek battling Daria Kasatkina and then in the evening Coco Gauff tests Caroline Garcia. The Frenchwoman rolled Gauff at the US Open.
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