Tennis: Kasatkina battles past Pegula to reach Charleston final

AFP , Saturday 6 Apr 2024

Russia's Daria Kasatkina advanced to the final of the WTA Charleston Open clay court tournament on Saturday after a three-set semi-final victory over top-seeded American Jessica Pegula.

Daria Kasatkina
Daria Kasatkina serves the ball to Jessica Pegula of the United States during the semifinal match on Day 6 of the WTA 500 Credit One Charleston Open 2024 at Credit One Stadium on April 06, 2024 in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo: AFP


Kasatkina, who needed a lengthy medical timeout in the third set, booked her place in Sunday's final after prevailing 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/5) in 2hr 45min against home hope Pegula.

The Russian fourth seed finished the semi-final with her right leg heavily strapped after a gruelling scrap against her opponent.

Kasatkina looked to be in trouble in the final set tie-break after Pegula raced into a 3-1 lead.

But the 26-year-old –- who won the Charleston crown in 2017 -– showed great courage to rally back and take control.

She moved to double match point at 6-4 in the tie break after Pegula smacked a return into the net.

Pegula saved the first match point after Kasatkina hit a forehand long, but the Russian made no mistake on the next point, whipping a superb crosscourt forehand beyond her opponent to seal victory.

Kasatkina will play either third seed Maria Sakkari or in-form Danielle Collins in Sunday's final.

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