Pegula herself hasn't been playing that well this year with her clay tennis, particularly worrisome. She didn't play well in this match either starting the match off really slowly which was a terrible thing as Mertens gained a lot of confidence with the way she won the first set. The Belgian is generally a solid clay player and can hit a high level at times but this was pretty impressive even for her standards.
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Confusing the opponent
She completely confused Pegula with the variation in her game leaving her unable to decipher what she needs to do. Even when Pegula finds a good way to attack Mertens, she is impressed with her defensive skills leaving Pegula very frustrated most of the time. The American had 8 unforced errors in the opening set with the second set seeing her smash 20 balls wide.
She really had some questionable choices in the match which certainly didn't help her. Overall just not a very good performance from the American who battled food poisoning leading up to this event. Whether that had something to do with it remains to be seen but for now, we'll be following Mertens in the next rounds of the French Open.