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Jessica Pegula wins Montreal WTA 1000 title, cements status as world No. 3

Arthur Kapetanakis | August 14, 2023

Jessica Pegula won her second WTA 1000 title on Sunday in Montreal, following three-set wins against Coco Gauff and Iga Swiatek with a dominant final performance.


After narrowly defeating her doubles partner Gauff and world No. 1 Swiatek in the quarters and semis, respectively, the American finished the job with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Liudmila Samsonova in the championship match. The Montreal title tightened Pegula's grip on the world No. 3 ranking—which she reclaimed after reaching the Washington, D.C., semis—and guaranteed her a top four seed at the US Open.

"Beating Coco and beating Iga were two really tough wins back-to-back," Pegula said after scoring her second WTA 1000 title, backing up her Guadalajara triumph from last October.


"Being able to do that and then just come out today and play a really clean match was kind of great. I felt like I didn't have a ton of pressure at any point or I wasn't worried too much today."


Against both Gauff and Swiatek, the fourth-seeded champion took the first and third sets in gritty victories. Pegula was a 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 winner against her countrywoman and earned a 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-4 result against the Pole. She now leads Gauff 2-1 in their head-to-head series and trails Swiatek 3-5, though she's beaten the world No. 1 twice this season—the first win coming during the United States' run to the inaugural United Cup trophy in January.

Now a three-time WTA singles champion, her first crown claimed in D.C. in 2019, Pegula reflected on the challenge of ending the week in the winners' circle.


"We're out on tour to win tournaments and to win titles every single week, but tennis can be really tough where you sometimes lose a lot. Even when you're winning a lot of matches, you're still not winning tournaments, so it can get tough," said the 29-year-old, who has shown remarkable consistency in reaching the later rounds this season.


"Winning a week like this week makes it all worth it and makes you want to keep going for more. I'll be right back at it tomorrow in Cincinnati."

Tommy Paul celebrates his Montreal win against Carlos Alcaraz. Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images.
Paul upsets No. 1 Alcaraz

Pegula was not the only American singles player to knock off a world No. 1 in Canada. On Friday night in Toronto, Tommy Paul stunned Carlos Alcaraz, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal. Now 2-1 against the reigning Wimbledon and US Open champion, Paul's first win in the head-to-head came last year at the same event (when it was played in Montreal).


Though he was beaten by eventual champion Jannik Sinner in the semis, Paul's run earned him a new career-high ATP ranking of No. 13.


The wins against world No. 1s on consecutive days for Paul and Pegula made history for American tennis. It marked the first time since 2008 that Americans defeated the top-ranked players on both tours in the same week. That year at the Miami Open, Andy Roddick defeated then-No. 1 Roger Federer and Serena Williams beat Justine Henin.

Ram, Krawczyk reach respective doubles finals

Rounding out the U.S. success in Canada, two Americans reached the doubles finals, one each in the men's and women's draw. Rajeev Ram and Great Britain's Joe Salisbury won two match tiebreaks en route to the men's title round, while Desirae Krawczyk and Dutchwoman Demi Schuurs missed out on two match points in a heartbreaking women's final defeat.

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