2022 Madrid Open final: Ons Jabeur to face Jessica Pegula
The 2022 Madrid Open women's singles final will see Ons Jabeur face Jessica Pegula in the final. This is a maiden WTA 1000 final for both players. Jabeur overcame qualifier Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-2, 6-3 in 61 minutes. Meanwhile, Pegula defeated Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4. Pegula took an hour and 21 minutes to ease past 35th-ranked Teichmann. Here's more.
As per WTA, Jabeur has become the first Arab player to reach a WTA 1000 final. The 2022 Madrid Open will be Jabeur's second final of 2022. She was the runner-up in Charleston last month. Also, this is her sixth career final in total. Jabeur now has a 2-6 win-loss record versus Alexandrova in career meetings.
Jabeur opened up on her opponent post victory. "I don't have great records in front of her. I knew I was playing such an aggressive player. She hits really flat and hits a lot of winners, so in my mind, I was accepting those kind of winners and accepting that she can do any ace any time, any winner any time," she said.
Jabeur overcame Jasmine Paolini in the first round (7-6, 6-1). In the second round, she sealed a three-set duel versus Varvara Gracheva (7-5, 0-6, 6-4). Another three-set win over Belinda Bencic saw Jabeur progress (6-2, 3-6, 6-2). In the quarters, Jabeur overcame Romania's Simona Halep 6-3, 6-2. In the semis, Jabeur overcame Ekaterina Alexandrova to book a finale berth.
She reflected on her win over Teichmann and said it was tricky. "[Teichmann is] a super tricky lefty. It was hard because I felt like I couldn't get a rhythm, really. May be the start of the first set she came out a little nervous and I was able to come out strong, which helped, but it was just tricky today," she said.
As per WTA, Pegula had reached the quarter-finals or better at six of her last 11 WTA 1000 events. She has also won a total of 28 WTA 1000-level matches spanning over 2021 and 2022 seasons. Notably, only World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has won more matches at that level during this phase, with 29.
The head-to-head series between Pegula and Jabeur is tied at 2-2. This will be their first clay-court meeting after four hard-court matches. Pegula won the first two meetings (Quebec City 2018 and Montreal 2018). Jabeur has won the last two (Chicago 2021 and Dubai 2022).
Pegula overcame Camila Giorgi in the round of 64 (7-5, 2-6, 7-5). In the round of 32, she sealed a win versus Kaia Kanepi (6-3, 6-3). Another 7-5, 6-1 win over Bianca Andreescu saw Pegula progress. In the quarters, Pegula overcame Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4, 6-2. In the semis, she overcame Jil Teichmann to book a finale berth.
Pegula has reached her 4th WTA final and a maiden one in Madrid. As per Opta, she is the third American female player to reach the final at the Madrid Open, after Venus Williams (2010) and Serena Williams (2012 and 2013).