MATCH REPORT | 2023 WTA FINALS: Jessica PEGULA outclasses Maria SAKKARI, claims Bacalar Group top spot

Jessica Pegula continues her great form in Cancun, defeating a frustrated Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2 to win the Bacalar Group and advance to the semifinals at the WTA Finals.

The American played without pressure, knowing she was already qualified for the semis and only needed to win a set to secure the top spot in the group. In her previous matches, she defeated Elena Rybakina (7-5, 6-2) and world No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka (4-6, 3-6).

On the other hand, Sakkari arrived with nothing to lose, as she had already been eliminated from the tournament and was only playing to determine the group's placements and to gain some extra points before the year's end.

Sakkari had a 5-4 head-to-head lead over Pegula, but this time the story was different. The first set began with an inconsistent Sakkari losing her first service game but managing to recover the break immediately in the following game. Unfortunately for the Greek, she couldn't hold her serve in her next two opportunities, giving Pegula a significant lead at 5-1.

In the seventh game, the recent champion of the WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open defended her serve for the first time in the match and gained momentum to break back and make the score 5-3. However, she once again faced issues with her serve and ended up losing the set to her opponent 6-3.

The Greek athlete was more aggressive, hitting 7 winners compared to Pegula's 1, but she made many more unforced errors, totaling 20 compared to her rival's 11.

The beginning of the second set saw Pegula defending her serve and taking two breaks to establish a 4-0 lead. Although Sakkari reduced the deficit with a break, it wasn't enough to push the match to its conclusion, and she ultimately lost 6-3, 6-2, concluding her 2023 season.

The next match will close the Bacalar Group with a clash between Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka, determining who will advance to the semifinals.

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