Buffalo native Jessica Pegula captured her first career WTA title Sunday in Washington, D.C. pounding Italian veteran Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 in a final.
The D.C. was led by stars like Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys, but no seeds made the semifinals and only one (Hsieh) even made the quarters, leaving the event ripe for a new champion, and this victory went to the 79th-ranked Pegula.
“It’s been extremely gratifying,” Pegula said. “I mean, this is what you work for, to win tournaments and to just win, basically.”
“But, you know, the journey — it sounds cliche, the journey makes it all that much sweeter,” added the 25-year-old. “I’ve worked really hard. So to kind of push through this week and really push myself to the limit, stronger than I kind of almost thought I was at times, really makes it amazing, yeah. I’m excited.”
The 27-year-old Giorgi was bidding for her third career WTA title, first on American soil.
“[Giorgi] plays so fast and quick, I didn’t want to let her dictate the points,” Pegula said. “So I just tried to really use my legs, be ready for every single shot to come back fast and hard, but also kind of try to do that to her, as well, almost kind of not give her time to dictate points.”
“I’m aggressive as well,” she said. “I have no problem with people who are hitting fast and hard at me. So it was definitely part of my game plan not to give her too much time to think out there and not let her get into timing.”
After the win, Pegula’s dog, Maddie, came to greet her on court. Her parents own the Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.
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