American No.1 Jessica Pegula defeated an extremely frequent rival to win her opening-round match at her home Grand Slam.
No.3 seed Pegula dispatched Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-2 in Arthur Ashe Stadium on Tuesday to book her spot in the US Open second round. Pegula needed 1 hour and 22 minutes to top 52nd-ranked Giorgi.
Pegula has now amassed a 9-2 win-loss record over Giorgi in what has been an extended head-to-head dating back 12 years. Pegula has enlarged her lead after their matchups of late, winning the last six meetings, including all three this year.
59 - Since 2010, Jessica Pegula is just the third American women’s player to register 59+ hard court wins across two seasons after Serena Williams and Venus Williams. Mark. #USOpen #USOpen2023 | @usopen @WTA @WTA_insider pic.twitter.com/DesOwBFEh9— OptaAce (@OptaAce) August 29, 2023
One of Pegula's wins over Giorgi came in the 2019 Citi Open final in Washington D.C., which was Pegula's first WTA title. Since then, Pegula has added to her trophy cabinet by collecting two WTA 1000 titles, last year in Guadalajara and earlier this month in Montreal.
Words from the winner: "Camila is always very tough," Pegula said in her post-match press. "You never know what you're going to get. She's a great ball striker, good athlete, goes for her shots.
"I've played her several times this year already, a lot of times throughout my career. I knew what I needed to do, but sometimes it depends as well on how you're playing and how she's playing. I think I was able to kind of execute what I wanted to do today."
Key moment: After Pegula eased through the opening set, the combatants staged a massive tussle at 2-2 in the second set. That game lasted for 18 minutes and featured 10 deuces.
After saving six break points in that game (and four break points in the opening game of the set), Giorgi finally ceded the break with a backhand misfire, and Pegula never lost another game in the match. Pegula was a perfect 14-for-14 on first-service points in the second set.
Svitolina advances to second round
No.26 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine joined Pegula in the second round after a routine 6-3, 6-1 victory over Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany. Svitolina and Pegula would square off in the third round if they both win their second-round matches.
Svitolina needed only 58 minutes to dismiss World No.90 Friedsam and reach the US Open second round for the seventh time in her last seven appearances. In her last two showings in New York, Svitolina reached the semifinals in 2019 and the quarterfinals in 2021.
After giving birth to daughter Skaï in October of last year, Svitolina has surged back up the rankings in her return. This year, she has already won the Strasbourg title, made the Roland Garros quarterfinals, reached the Wimbledon semifinals and re-entered the Top 30.
"Any win on the Grand Slam is a happy, happy day because the best players are here, everyone is there trying to beat you, trying to bring their best game," Svitolina said afterwards. "That's why there's so many exciting matches on the Grand Slam."