Victoria Azarenka Battles Past Jessica Pegula to Reach Semi-Finals at WTA Berlin 2021

Published 06/18/2021, 3:33 PM EDT
ROME, ITALY: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round one match against Venus Williams of The United States during day three of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Riccardo Antimiani – Pool/Getty Images)


In preparation for the third grand slam of the year, both ATP and WTA players are part of some grass court events happening in Germany and London this week. At the WTA Berlin Open, former world number one Victoria Azarenka has made a solid start to her grass campaign and reached the quarter-finals.

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ROME, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 17: Victoria Azarenka of Belarus celebrates in her round two match against Sofia Kenin of The United States during day four of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at Foro Italico on September 17, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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The two-time grand slam champion, who made an enormous comeback to the WTA tour last year at the US Open series, has given a couple of consistent performances this year so far. At the recently concluded French Open, the Belarusian was defeated in the fourth round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Playing at her first grass court event in Berlin, Azarenka defeated Andrea Petkovic and Angelique Kerber to reach the last eight. In the quarters, she met the American Jessica Pegula. The duo has already faced each other a couple of times this year.

While Azarenka won their first head-to-head meeting, she later gave a walkover to Pegula in the second round of Madrid Open as she pulled out of the tournament citing an injury.

Let’s how the match progressed.

Victoria Azarenka dominated the first set but Pegula edged past her to clinch the second

Azarenka meant business right from the start as she served extremely well in the first couple of games to show her command on the match. On the other hand, the American took time to adjust her game to Azarenka’s game-play but lost the first set, 2-6.

As the second set began, both the players were at the top of their games and exchanged a few breaks of serve. The second set was taken till the end as Pegula got the final break in the 12th game and clinched the second set, 7-5.

The American was able to hold her serve in deciding moments of the second and was rewarded with a much-needed break of serve.

Azarenka took the third set after a tough fight from Jessica Pegula

In the deciding final set, the former world number one wasted no time and used her big-match experience to break the American’s initial service game. But, Pegula was too good to give up and broke back immediately.

After exchanging a couple of breaks more in the set, the Belarusian finally broke the serve of Pegula for the sixth time in the match. Between the two players, the stat which created an impact was the break-point conversion.

While Azarenka converted 6 out of the 9 break point opportunities given to her, the American only managed to convert only 4 out of 10 chances.

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Serving for the match at 5-4 in the third, the two-time grand slam champion didn’t hesitate to hit sharp first-serves and over-powered Jessica Pegula in three sets, 6-2,5-7, 6-4.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

334 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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