Aryna Sabalenka knocked Jessica Pegula out of the WTA Finals singles event with a 6-3, 7-5 victory this afternoon.
“I keep saying to myself, ‘Just stay focused, keep fighting, it doesn’t matter, two or three sets, just get the win, the extra points,'” Sabalenka said. “At the end was a little pressure because you try to not think about this, but this thing stays in your mind. I’m happy that I was able to finish it in two sets.
“In the beginning, I said to my team that I’d prefer the second match to 100% know what I have to do to get through.”
The big-hitting Belarussian then had to sweat out the Ons Jabeur-Maria Sakkari night match. Sakkari had already qualified but Sabalenka needed the Greek to win at least a set. And Sakkari won two defeating Jabeur in straights 6-2, 6-3 to win the group.
“I think I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Sakkari said afterward on court. “I’m trusting myself. I’m just fearless on the court. I’m enjoying myself here. There’s no secret behind how I’m playing, it was about time to start playing good again. I’m just very happy that it’s actually happening here.”
Tomorrow, Iga Swiatek returns to face Coco Gauff. Swiatek has already won the group while Gauff has been eliminated. Gauff will try to prevent the home Americans from a winless 0-6 mark in singles.
Daria Kasatkina and Caroline Garcia, however, will meet in a virtual quarterfinal with the loser going home and the winner moving on to the semifinals.
In the Sunday semifinals, Swiatek will take on Sabalenka while Sakkari will meet the Kasatkina-Garcia winner.
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