Ahead of their last WTA Finals match in doubles, the American duo had a chance to advance despite losing their first two matches. It's a rare situation, but the first-seeded team was ready to capitalize on their chance.
On top of that, after Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe defeated Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-5, 7-5, Gauff and Pegula once again had their destiny in their own hands.
All they needed to do was beat Vera Zvonareva and Laura Siegemund, ideally in two sets. In case they don't win in two sets, every game counts, and that's why their start of the match was so important.
The Americans got an early break, leading 3-0, with two more break points to go into a two-break lead. However, those chances remained unused by the top seeds, as was the chance in the eighth game of the opening set to win 6-2.
Yet, the highest-ranked team at the 2023 WTA Finals still managed to win the first set 6-3, a crucial step towards their semifinal qualification.
They started the second set well once again, this time having two break points, but once again, they couldn't use their chance. Gauff and Pegula then won their service game to to level the score at 1-1, as the match was stopped when their opponents led 40-30 in the next game.
With the match at halt, the Americans can now make calculations to figure out what they need to do to advance to the semifinals. The key is simple, Gauff and Pegula can even lose the second set, but they need to lose the second set by not more than two games. If they meet that condition and win the match, they are through to the semifinals.