WTA: Jessica Pegula advances to semifinals in Toronto


With the top six seeds eliminated, seventh-seeded Jessica Pegula advanced Friday into the semifinals of the National Bank Open in Toronto by defeating Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-3.

Pegula won 81.6 percent of her first serve points and needed to save only one break point while winning in an hour and 21 minutes. The 28-year-old from Buffalo, N.Y., is chasing her second career victory and first since 2019. She reached the finals at Madrid earlier this year before falling to Ons Jabeur in three sets.

The other remaining American player, 10th-seed Coco Gauff, fell to Simona Halep of Romania, 6-4, 7-6 (2). It was the third time this year that Halep has defeated Gauff, who is ranked four spots ahead of No. 15 Halep in the world rankings.

Halep has twice won the tournament and is through to the last four in Toronto for the fifth time in her career. She broke Gauff’s serve six times to advance to Saturday’s semifinals against Pegula.

“She’s a bit stronger. She hits stronger. And the serve was much stronger today,” Halep said of Gauff afterward. “”Backhand is always hard. I think she improved a lot since we played last time. It’s always tough to play against her. She’s fighting until the end. She doesn’t give you a point, so you have to stay there and to fight.”

In Friday night’s, quarterfinals, 12th-seeded Belinda Bencic of Switzerland faces Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil, and 14th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic neets Qinwen Zheng of China.

–Field Level Media

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