MONTREAL-Jessica Pegula beat world number one Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-7(4) 6-4 on Saturday to reach the Canadian Open final in Montreal, where ongoing rain delayed the start of the other semi-final between Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova until Sunday.
Rybakina and Samsonova are now scheduled to begin their match at 1:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT) on Sunday, leaving the winner with little downtime before the final, which will begin “after suitable rest” and not before 5:30 p.m. American world number three Pegula, playing in her third consecutive Canadian Open semi-final, broke Swiatek’s serve 11 times and managed her way through the big moments of the match better than the four-times Grand Slam winner.
“She always makes it tough but of course it’s incredibly rewarding to beat the number one player in the world and I am sure that will give me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow and the next couple weeks,” Pegula said securing a spot in her first Canadian Open final.
Neither player was able to defend their serve until Pegula held to love for a 4-2 lead and the American followed that by going up a double break before producing a pair of aces to close out the first set on her next service game. Swiatek looked to have settled into a groove as she opened the second set with her first service hold of the day followed by a pair of breaks for a 3-1 lead.
Pegula, however, clawed back and opened up a 5-4 lead after breaking Swiatek for the eighth time but was unable to serve out the match as the Pole levelled the frame before going on to force the decider. Swiatek won the first eight points of the third set to build a 2-0 lead but Pegula kept cool and twice came back from a breakdownen route to securing one of the biggest wins of her career.
Rybakina reached the semis with a win over Daria Kasatkina in a match that lasted nearly three and a half hours and ended just before 3 a.m. on Saturday. Samsonova booked her place in the final four with a win over Belinda Bencic during Friday’s night session after beating Aryna Sabalenka in the day session. Samsonova has won both her previous meetings with Rybakina, including a first-round clash in Montreal two years ago.