American Jess Pegula Storms into Citi Open Women’s Final
Steve Fogleman in Washington
I’ve seen her in tennis club cafeterias at ITF events and witnessed her trying to qualify for bigger tournaments countless times throughout the United States, but I saw Jessica Pegula do something different today: make the final of a WTA international level tournament. She did so by defeating the qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in a Citi Open Women’s Semifinal in Washington.
The first set was all Pegula, and Kalinskaya required a medical timeout to deal with cramping before holding her own through the second and pushing the third set. There was nothing left in Kalinskaya’s tank at that point and Pegula took the finale in a breezy 6-1 affair.
Tour level success has been elusive for Pegula thus far for the 25-year-old Buffalo, New York native. Since turning pro in 2013, she’s only enjoyed one such final appearance: on the carpet in Quebec last year where she fell to Pauline Parmentier. She’s a rich girl, and she’s gone too far, storming all the way into the vaunted final of the Citi Open, where the likes of Magdalena Rybarikova, Sloane Stephens and Svetlana Kuznetsova have won glory, if not household notoriety.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, Pegula has a 2-1 head to head record against Camila Giorgi, but the two haven’t met in match play in seven years. She’s 1-1 against Caty McNally, having beaten then 16-year-old McNally on clay last year in Tampa in straight sets before losing to now 17-year-old McNally in straight sets on the hard courts of Midland, Texas.