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Jessica Pegula Charges By Coco Gauff Into WTA Finals Final

Jessica Pegula charged through 10 of the last 11 games defeating Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-1 to reach her maiden WTA Finals title match in Cancun.

Exuding calm amid unruly conditions, Jessica Pegula continues to clean up the competition in Cancun.

Striking clean combinations, Pegula surged through 10 of the last 11 games sweeping doubles partner Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-1 powering into her maiden WTA Finals title match.

Give Pegula an hour and she’ll give you an ordeal.

An ultra-consistent Pegula broke serve six times and won 13 of 21 points played on Gauff’s second serve advancing to the biggest final of her career on the longest winning streak of her life.

The first all-American WTA Finals semifinal since 2002 when Serena Williams beat Jennifer Capriati was played amid blustery winds and featured two rain delays of about 14 minutes apiece. Pegula confronted the chaos with a clear strategy: active feet and center her flat drives through the middle of the court.

“I thought I executed what I wanted to do really really,” Pegula told Tennis Channel’s Steve Weissman. “I think in the windy conditions, it worked even better. I was just trying not to get frustrated with my serve or returns or any funky kind of points we had and just keep my feet moving.”

Seoul champion Pegula is moving in the right direction. Pegula rides a nine-match winning streak—and seven straight wins vs. Top 10 opponents—into tomorrow’s final against either world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka or No. 2 Iga Swiatek.

The first American to contest the WTA Finals title match since Sloane Stephens back in 2018, Pegula is bidding to become the first woman to win the championship with an undefeated record since Elina Svitolina in 2018.

Both Pegula and Gauff live and train in windy south Florida. Tonight, Pegula’s clean, compact strokes and flat strikes helped her navigate this tennis tempest with more clarity. Gauff committed 21 unforced errors—nine more than Pegula.

“The wind is so tough. I hit hard and flat and if I’m doing that up the middle it’s hard for people to kind of create in general, let alone in the wind,” Pegula said. “So I’m like if you’re going to go out and hit winners in wind like this, then too good, but I don’t think anyone can really do that, that efficiently so that’s basically the chance I’m taking.

“But also to move in and put pressure when I can. Sometimes, you’re just reacting, you’re not really trying to go for a certain shot and it just happens.”

On a breezy evening, Gauff spit up a forehand error and a double fault in the opening game. Pegula pummeled a forehand return winner down the line breaking at love to open the night’s first semifinal.

The 29-year-old Pegula—the oldest woman still standing in the field—served 71 percent, won 11 of 15 first-serve points and faced only one break point in the 30-minute opener.

Forehand failures in the whipping wind continued to torment Gauff, who floated a forehand long dumping serve at love to start the second set.

Kinesiology tape wrapped Pegula’s left shoulder, but she was snaking flat strikes with conviction. Pegula pumped her first ace down the T to take a 2-0 lead when a rain shower interrupted play.

An immediate problem for Gauff: Pegula was playing with control charging through six straight games.

A bigger problem: Ferocious front-runner Pegula was 50-0 when winning the first set this season.

Following a 14-minute rain delay, play resumed and Gauff rapped her first ace out wide, snapping her six game slide to get on the board.

Working the ball corner to corner, Pegula was not fazed by the wind and continued to apply baseline pressure. An out-of-sorts Gauff hit a double fault and shoveled a forehand into net as Pegula scored her fifth break extending her lead to 4-1.

When Gauff’s final forehand flew out, Pegula was into her maiden WTA Finals title match, improving to 51-0 when winning the first set in 2023.

US Open champion Gauff wraps her singles season with a 51-16 record