Sydney, Jan 6 (UiTV/IANS) – Jessica Pegula registered a 6-2, 6-2 win over reigning World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the first match of the United Cup semifinal to give the USA a 1-0 lead over Poland on Friday.
Pegula broke Swiatek five times and dropped her serve only once in storming to her first win over the three-time grand slam champion since 2019.
Swiatek lost the first seven points of the match – five with forehand errors. A slew of terrific winners enabled her to break Pegula back from 40/0, but it was the American who maintained her initial momentum.
Pegula teed off repeatedly on Swiatek’s serves, firing clean return winners en route to breaking for 4-1. The 28-year-old out-rallied Swiatek in the highest-octane baseline exchanges ultimately tallying 21 winners to the Pole’s 18.
Swiatek showed some excellent volleying and overheads, but none led to any sustained momentum. In the first set, Pegula won 15 of her first 18 return points; in the second, she lost only five points behind her serve and did not face a break point.
After Swiatek’s loss in the opening tie, it will be up to her countryman Kacper Zuk to level the tie for Poland in the best-of-five-match tie. The world No. 245 takes on US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe.
Zuk replaced Daniel Michalski due to the latter’s illness.