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By Erik Gudris | @ATNTennis | Wednesday, August 3, 2022

 
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Top women’s seeds Jessica Pegula and Simona Halep were dealt early losses in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

Photo credit: Citi Bank Open Facebook

Top women’s seeds at this week’s Citi Open in Washington D.C. felt the pressure and the heat as they tried to reach the next round.

The result—several of the biggest names in the women’s draw are already out before the quarterfinals.

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No. 1 seed and defending champion Jessica Pegula could not repeat the success she enjoyed a few years ago. Australia’s Daria Saville edged out Pegula in a close contest 7-5, 6-4.

Current World No. 7 Pegula held her serve in the opening set though to 4-all. But Saville broke soon after for a 5-4 lead. Pegula pulled even for 5-all, yet dropped her serve again. Saville eventually closed out the set. Saville broke serve to open the second set.

Though Pegula held early break points, she could never covert on the opportunity. Saville held on to her advantage before eventually closing out the win.

Saville is now into her third WTA quarterfinal of the year having achieved the same feat in Miami and Guadalajara. She later reflected on the win against the top 10 ranked Pegula.

“Well, it's up there. Every Top-10 win is up there," Saville said. "I definitely, like, thought about it before the match and said to my coach, Hey, let's get another Top-10 win here. So, yeah, I'm happy about it, and I think that creates kind of like, you know, good reputation and players are going to see, okay, she's playing well. She has had some good wins this year.”

Saville will next face Canadian qualifier Rebecca Marino.

After her win over Venus Williams, Marino endured an up and down contest against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic in the early afternoon heat. Marino eventually prevailed 6-3, 3-6. 6-1.

No. 3 seed Simona Halep and her opponent Anna Kalinskaya of Russia also struggled with the heat and other physical issues in their second round match.
The two-time major champion and current World No. 16 Halep fell behind 0-4 early in the first set before rallying to pull even with her opponent later at 5-all. Both players sought a trainer in the set.

Halep, for issues due to the extreme heat and Kalinskaya for an apparent leg issue.

Tennis Express

Kalinskaya, a former D.C. semifinalist in 2019, broke serve for 6-5 in the first set before taking it 7-5. Kalinskaya got an early break in the second set before an ailing Halep decided to retire in their match.

Next up for Kalinskaya is No. 6 seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia. Kanepi battled past China’s Lin Zhu 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the elite eight.

 

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