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By Alberto Amalfi | Saturday, September 30, 2023


Veronika Kudermetova cracked 16 aces edging Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(6), 6-7(2), 6-3 and will face Jessica Pegula in the Tokyo final.

Photo credit: Koji Watanabe/Getty

Veronika Kudermetova showed a strong closing kick winning a marathon match.

Kudermetova cracked 16 aces edging Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6(6), 6-7(2), 6-3 in a three hour, 25-minute epic to battle into the Tokyo final.

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It is Kudermetova's first hard-court final since the 2022 Dubai.

The win comes one round after Kudermetova knocked top-seeded Iga Swiatek out of the quarterfinals 6-2, 2-6, 6-4.

The eighth-seeded Kudermetova will play for her second career title and first since the 2021 Charleston when she takes on Jessica Pegula in Sunday's final.

The second-seeded Pegula saved eight of nine break points defeating Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3.

Pegula snapped Guadalajara champion Sakkari's seven-match winning streak bursting into her third final of the season.

"When you're top-ranked, I think it just depends on how you play that day and how you execute your game plan, and some days it's better than others," Pegula said. "I think the faster courts here probably help me a little more than the slower surfaces I've played her in the past, so I tried to take advantage of that."

Montreal champion Pegula posted her 33rd hard-court victory of the season, equaling US Open champion and doubles partner Coco Gauff for the WTA lead. 

In their lone prior meeting, Kudermetova stopped Pegula in three sets in the Madrid quarterfinals last May.

Splashing an ace out wide, Kudermetova closed a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 conquest of 2022 finalist Pegula in style sealing her maiden Mutua Madrid Open semifinal spot.


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