Jessica Pegula powers through, overcomes Amanda Anisimova in thrilling Charleston Open debut

Wednesday, 03 April 2024 at 03:00
Jessica Pegula (No. 5) debuted successfully at the Charleston Open after overcoming Amanda Anisimova (No. 264) 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(3). Pegula decided to kick off her clay season quickly after the Sunshine Double, where she exited in her Indian Wells debut and then reached the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.
On the other hand, Anisimova hadn't played since the Australian Open, where she was eliminated in the fourth round against eventual champion Aryna Sabalenka. The American took a career break after the Madrid Open in April 2023 until the start of the 2024 season, but this is only her third tournament since then. Two weeks ago, she had to withdraw from the Puerto Vallarta Challenger due to physical complications.
Regardless, Anisimova had a strong first set, saving some break points early on and securing two consecutive breaks without dropping her serve, taking a surprising 5-0 lead over Pegula. The world No. 5 recovered one break but couldn't mount a comeback against Anisimova, who won 55% of the points.
The second set was evenly contested, with neither player giving many opportunities on serve. Pegula grabbed a break in the sixth game to go up 5-2, but Anisimova fought back to make it 4-5, serving to extend the set. However, she couldn't hold her serve, and Pegula took the set 6-4.
The tension remained high throughout the final set, lasting an hour and 9 minutes. Once again, Pegula took the lead with an early break, but this time Anisimova immediately responded. With the score at 5-4 in favor of Pegula, she squandered a match point on serve.
Eventually, it all came down to a tie-break, where Pegula showcased her experience to close out the match with an incredible 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 victory and advance to the quarterfinals of the Charleston Open.

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