No.2 seed Jessica Pegula stormed into her seventh semifinal of 2023, needing just 59 minutes to defeat No.6 Daria Kasatkina 6-1, 6-0 on Friday at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

The result was Pegula's second win in as many meetings with her opponent, having also defeated Kasatkina 7-5, 6-3 in the first round of Rome 2021. The American improves to 10-9 against Top 20 opposition in 2023.

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In the last four, Pegula will take on No.4 seed Maria Sakkari for the ninth time, and third this season. Sakkari extended her winning streak to a career-best seven matches with a 6-2, 6-2 win over No.5 seed Caroline Garcia, reprising her 6-3, 6-0 defeat of the Frenchwoman en route to the Guadalajara title last week.

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Sakkari leads the head-to-head series against Pegula 5-3 overall, but they have split their 2023 meetings. Pegula took their Doha semifinal 6-2, 4-6, 6-1, but Sakkari turned the tables 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 in the Washington semifinals. 

Against Kasatkina, Pegula dropped serve in the opening game of the match, but thereafter delivered an impeccable display of attacking tennis to rattle off 12 consecutive games. The World No.4 fired 25 winners compared to just one for Kasatkina, and broke serve six times -- three of those sealing the game with a clean return winner.

Opportunities for Kasatkina to get a foothold in the match were few, but Pegula was ruthless in denying her each time. Efficient drive volleying helped Pegula fend off three break points as she served out the first set, and at the start of the second Kasatkina was unable to convert eight game points across her first two service games.

Before 2023, Sakkari had not beaten Garcia in three meetings. She's turned the tables in their rivalry, winning all three encounters in 2023. Over the past two weeks, that streak has included 11 consecutive games -- the last seven of their Guadalajara semifinal, followed by the first four in Tokyo.

Highlights: Sakkari d. Garcia

Sakkari never loosened her grip on the match's momentum after that quick lead as she raced into her ninth semifinal of 2023. She delivered a clean performance, tallying 15 winners -- including nine aces -- to eight unforced errors, and saved all six break points against her. By contrast, Garcia's seven aces were offset by 28 unforced errors, frequently missing backhands and returns by several feet.