Jabeur wins Ningbo Open, Pegula and Kudermetova reach final in Tokyo
NINGBO, China (AP) — Top-seeded Ons Jabeur won her fifth career title at the Ningbo Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over teenager Diana Shnaider on Saturday.
The seventh-ranked Jabeur, a three-time Grand Slam finalist, saved her best performance of the tournament for the final and raced to victory in 78 minutes.
“I felt tactically I played very well, I had an advantage in that I had more experience than her to manage certain points,” Jabeur said. “Playing a final here is more relaxed than playing a Grand Slam final, but I think it will help me gain confidence more, and to help me manage the pressure and stress.”
The Tunisian had 18 winners to only 10 unforced errors, while saving all three break points she faced, denying the 19-year-old Shnaider any chance to get a foothold in the match.
This was 85th-ranked Shnaider's first career final in just her ninth WTA tournament main draw. One year ago, she was ranked No. 220 and beginning her freshman year at North Carolina State.
At the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, second-seeded Jessica Pegula's impressive week continued as the American surged to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari in the semifinals.
Pegula has lost just nine games in her three matches and will meet eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova in Sunday’s final.
“When you’re top-ranked, I think it just depends on how you play that day and how you execute your game plan, and some days it’s better than others,” Pegula said. “I think the faster courts here probably help me a little more than the slower surfaces I’ve played her in the past, so I tried to take advantage of that.”
In the earlier semifinal, Kudermetova edged past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (6), 6-7 (2), 6-3.
At the Astana Open, top-seeded Tallon Griekspoor defeated qualifier Sho Shimabukuro 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Griekspoor will play fifth-seeded Sebastian Korda, who beat Nuno Borges 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the quarterfinals.
Local favorite and third-seeded Alexander Bublik is on court later Saturday.
AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis
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