Maria Sakkari has been enjoying the best stretch of her 2023 campaign recently with the Guadalajara triumph. She continued her good play in Tokyo but ran out of steam against Jessica Pegula who has beaten Sakkari in the past.
In fact, this was their 9th match overall, and before this one, the score was 5-3 for Sakkari. The most recent one was in Washington, and Sakkari won that one, with Pegula serving up some revenge in this one. It was a really one-sided match because Pegula never lost control of it.
There were a lot of great rallies between the players, but it was Pegula's day, and on her day, she's really tough to outhit. Even some of the best hitters in the game have trouble against her, and Sakkari is not one of those. The first set opened with an early break for Pegula, who was locked in.
She would add another break later on and cruise to a comfortable 6-2 finish. Sakkari was starting to find some solutions towards the end of the set, but it was short-lived. Sakkari did take an early break in the second set as Pegula struggled with her serve, leaving herself quite vulnerable.
But it was pretty short-lived. Pegula got serious quickly and won four games in a row to take a 4-2 lead. She would keep her serve and break once more to finish things off and set the final score of 6-2 6-3.
It is a pretty impressive win for Pegula, who is looking really sharp in Tokyo. It's a much-needed run after the disappointing US Open finish, but the job is not done. There is a trophy to be won, so let's see what happens tomorrow.