MELBOURNE, Australia – American Jessica Pegula stunned World No. 5 Elina Svitolina in three sets to advance to her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Unseeded in just her 9th major appearance, Pegula has won more matches this tournament than in her previous 8 slams combined. The Buffalo, NY native never faced a break point in the first set and only needed one break of serve to take a one-set-to-love lead.
Pegula seemed to be on cruise control, breaking Svitolina to begin the second. However, Svitolina was not going away without a fight. The 5th seed immediately broke back and won three of the next four games to take a 4-1 lead. Pegula was unable to claw back, pushing the match into a third set to decide the first quarterfinalist of the day.
Pegula, who controlled the majority of the points with her power from the baseline, broke Svitolina in the fourth game of the final set with a backhand winner to go up 3-1. She held for a 4-1 lead but ended up losing her next service game to get the match back on serve.
However, Pegula stuck to her game plan and stayed aggressive to create her first match point at 5-3. Running Svitolina from side to side, Pegula eventually forced her into an error to advance with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory.
- This was Pegula’s first win over a top-10 opponent
- Pegula faces fellow American Jennifer Brady for a spot in the quarterfinals; the duo has only played once before with Pegula winning in straight sets at the Western & Southern Open last September
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