Sakkari in semi-final in Mexico, qualifies for WTA Finals

GUADALAJARA, Mexico — Sixth-ranked Maria Sakkari beat Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 5-7, 6-4 on Friday night to advance to the Guadalajara 1000 Open semifinals and clinch a berth in the WTA Finals .

Sakkari, seeded fourth, will face the winner of the late match between Marie Bouzkova and Anna Kalinskaya.

Sakkari will participate in the WTA Finals for the second year in a row. The 27-year-old Greek qualified for the semi-finals in Guadalajara a year ago.

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek and Ons Jabeur secured their spot through their efforts at the US Open, and Jessica Pegula arrived in Mexico after clinching her ticket last week in San Diego.

Other qualifiers include Coco Gauff, Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka and Daria Kasatkina.

Gauff, who secured her spot with two wins this week, lost to Viktoria Azarenka 7-6(2), 4-6, 6-3.

Azarenka, 33, from Belarus, reached her first semi-final since last October, when she advanced to the final in Indian Wells.

“She’s a young player, but she’s had a lot of experience on the tour already. I love watching Coco play,” Azarenka said. “I believe she’s going to do great things in the sport. feel like she just needs a little more to step forward.

Azarenka, a former No. 1 ranked player in the world, will face third seed Jessica Pegula, who earned a 6-2, 6-2 victory over former US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

With this win, Pegula has 37 WTA 1000 tournament wins, the most since 2021. She broke the tie with Swiatek (36).

“I saw the stat that I have the most wins in the last two years,” said Pegula, who is having a breakthrough season. “It’s great. When I was younger I never thought I could string two wins together, it’s going to be a special stat for the rest of my career.

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