APRIL 22
MAY 5
2024

APRIL 22 - MAY 5, 2024

Kudermetova ousts Pegula to break new ground in Madrid

After spending over 10 hours on court and battling through four three-set matches, Veronika Kudermetova is through to the first WTA 1000 semi-final of her career in Madrid with a hard-fought victory over last year’s runner-up Jessica Pegula.

Picking up her second top-10 win of the week – and 13th overall – Kudermetova survived a roller coaster affair against the third-ranked Pegula, posting a 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 result in two hours and five minutes.

The 26-year-old committed 40 unforced errors and was broken seven times but found her game when it mattered the most on Estadio Manolo Santana.

Her reward is a semi-final showdown with world No.1 Iga Swiatek or No.27 seed Petra Martic.

“I feel so happy and I’m proud of myself because I played every match in three sets. Before this match, every match was almost three hours, today just two hours, I feel fresh, but yeah I’m so happy,” said a relieved Kudermetova, who had lost her two previous WTA 1000 quarter-finals, at Indian Wells and Guadalajara last season.

Opening play on centre court at the Caja Magica on Wednesday, both players were incredibly aggressive on return from the start, with five of the first seven games going against serve.

It was Kudermetova who managed to consolidate as she eked out a 5-3 advantage and she closed out the set on the 51-minute mark.

All three of Kudermetova’s matches in Madrid thus far had gone the distance and it looked like that might be the case again when Pegula broke at the start of the second set. The American No.3 seed delivered a 22-minute bagel to Kudermetova as the contest went to a decider.

After receiving medical attention for an upper thigh issue between sets, Kudermetova drew first blood in set three to inch ahead 2-0.

An unusual miss at the net from Kudermetova gifted Pegula the break back and that pattern continued as neither player made any real impact on serve.

Kudermetova finally stopped the trend, as she staved off Pegula one last time, sealing the victory with an ace to break new ground in the Spanish capital.

Pegula has broken serve a tour-leading 163 times this season but her inability to hold in crucial moments is what cost her the match against Kudermetova.

The American will return to action in doubles on Thursday, where she and her partner Coco Gauff will take on Marta Kostyuk and Elena Gabriela-Ruse in the semi-finals.