Upset Alert: Third-seeded Pegula Stunned By Mertens At Roland Garros

Upset Alert: Third-seeded Pegula Stunned By Mertens At Roland Garros

by Zachary Wimer

Jessica Pegula became the highest seed in the WTA draw to crash out of the 2023 Roland Garros after losing to Elise Mertens.

In the ATP draw, fans in Paris already saw a loss of the second-seeded Daniil Medvedev, but among women, the top four were all still in play ahead of the third round of the competition. And it was Pegula who took the court as the first of those players on Friday.

In her third-round match, the American opened the action on Court Philippe-Chatrier and her opponent was certainly a tricky one as Mertens managed to beat the highest-ranked American twice in their previous two meetings on the WTA Tour.

But Pegula, who revealed that she had food poisoning before the tournament started, didn't give herself many chances early in the match. To overcome the two previous losses, she needed a good start against the Belgian, but the opposite happened.

Mertens won the first five games of the match, using 100% of her break points and losing only four points on serve. The American couldn't find any response to that and after one hold of serve, she only watched as the 28th seed won the first set 6-1.

In the second set, the third seed showed that the's capable of putting on a fight. After Mertens broke in the opening game, Pegula responded with a break, and at 3-2, she even had a break point to go into the one-break lead for the first time in the second set.

But Mertens then won seven of the following eight rallies and she didn't just save her opponent's break point, but also got a break herself. The American then had three chances to break back in the eighth game, but she couldn't use those.

That gave the Belgian a chance to pressure her opponent's serve once more, and once more, she also succeeded when doing that. Mertens finished the match with a break to win it 6-1, 6-3, and book the fourth-round spot at the 2023 Roland Garros.

The Belgian No. 1 will now await one of the Russian opponents, but she's yet to find out which. It will be either the 24th-seeded Anastasia Potapova or another player with the same first name and nationality, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.


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