Jessica Pegula has had a fantastic year, getting a pretty big trophy at the Canadian Open. She didn't quite follow that up in Cincinnati or the US Open but is now looking really strong in Japan at the WTA 500 event, booking the semi-final over Daria Kasatkina.
This was only the second match Pegula played at the event, but she showed in the first one how well the conditions work for her, and she backed that up today. Kasatkina is a tough player but proved no match in the opening set, which Pegula won 6-1.
While Kasatkina keeps the ball in play, she's no match to Pegula in ball-striking ability, which proved the problem early. Pegula dominated the rallies and ended them on her terms. She didn't win all the rallies but certainly more than enough to win the set and then the match.
Things didn't go that well for Kasatkina in the second set as Pegula opened with an early break, and that's never good if you're on the wrong side. Things went from bad to worse for Kasatkina, who dropped her serve once more to fall behind 0-3.
It was just one of her days where Pegula was damn near impossible to play, especially for a player who can't really hit through the American. They finished rather quickly after that, as neither player was particularly interested in extending it any further.
The final score was 6-1 6-0 for Pegula, who will be happy to escape with a 1-hour match as she likely expected at least a 2-hour battle with Kasatkina. Up next for her is either Caroline Garcia or Maria Sakkari, both equally tricky, especially the latter, who is in top form right now.