Pegula advances to Adelaide International quarter-finals
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Second-seeded Jessica Pegula secured a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 win over fellow American Bernarda Pera on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Adelaide International.
Pera earned a spot in the main draw as a so-called lucky loser from qualifying and then upset former No. 2-ranked Paula Badosa in the opening round.
Pegula went 1-for-10 on break points in the first set as Pera’s powerful left-handed game led to the unseeded player’s early advantage. But Pegula found her rhythm in the second set, where she hit 11 winners to six unforced errors.
Pegula will next face Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat fellow qualifier Katerina Siniakova 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
Adelaide is among the last tune-up events for the Australian Open, which starts Sunday in Melbourne.
Top-seeded Elena Rybakina, last year's Australian Open finalist and winner of the Brisbane International on Sunday, beat Cristina Bucsa 6-3, 7-5.
Tommy Paul, the top-seeded player in the men's draw in Adelaide, beat Australian qualifier Alex Bolt 6-3, 6-2.
SINNER STAYS HOT AT KOOYONG
Jannik Sinner skipped official lead-in tournaments for the Australian Open and preferred to play at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Melbourne, which also features No. 8-ranked Holger Rune and Andy Murray.
Playing his first match of the season on Wednesday, Sinner beat Marc Polmans 6-4, 6-0.
The 22-year-old Sinner finished 2023 by beating No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic in the round-robin stage of the ATP Finals in Turin and again a week later as he led Italy to the Davis Cup title in Malaga.
He also won late-season titles in Beijing and Vienna which included wins over No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz and third-ranked Daniil Medvedev.
Sinner’s best result at the Australian Open came in 2022 with a quarterfinal appearance. His best Grand Slam singles to date was a semifinal run last year at Wimbledon.
“It was a good end of season last year and I’m starting from zero to try and get confidence from last year again,” Sinner said. “It’s obviously tough in the first match you play but I was happy with today."
MEHRTENS ADVANCES AT HOBART
Top-seeded Elise Mehrtens advanced to the quarterfinals at the Hobart International with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Anna Karolina Schmiedlová.
Mehrtens is attempting to win her third Hobart title. The Belgian player, who won in Hobart in 2017 and 2018, will meet Dutch veteran Arantxa Rus for a place in the semifinals.
“That would be amazing (to win the tournament again). But we’re only in the quarterfinals — I need to win three more,” Mertens said.
Australian Daria Saville later beat 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin 7-6 (3), 6-1 to also advance to the quarterfinals.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis