Brisbane, Jan 8 (SocialNews.XYZ) Jessica Pegula kicked off the United Cup final by giving the United States a 1-0 lead over Italy with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Martina Trevisan.
Despite the straight-sets scoreline, the contest was far from straightforward for the WTA World No. 3. Trevisan came out firing with an ultra-aggressive strategy, and remained committed to front-foot tennis throughout, reports unitedcup.com.
Pegula, normally an excellent proponent of these tactics herself, was forced onto the back foot more than usual. Though the American led 3-0 and then 4-2 in the first set, Trevisan managed to level at 4-4 after coming up with a series of fizzing forehands.
Ironically after this pattern, the set turned on a rare shot that Trevisan backed off. Serving at 4-5, 30/30, a tentative drive volley allowed Pegula to crunch a forehand of her own to reach set point. The American promptly converted it with a superb backhand winner down the line.
Pegula settled in the second set, reducing her unforced error tally from 17 to seven while eliciting mistakes from Trevisan with canny court craft. Trevisan's do-or-die approach ultimately didn't pay off as the WTA World No. 27 racked up 31 unforced errors against 14 winners.
Trevisan went down swinging, finding another sequence of crowd-pleasing winners to cut Pegula's 5-0 lead to 5-2. But Pegula remained solid to close out the second set in an identical manner to the first: with a pinpoint backhand down the line.