Maria Sakkari and Cori Gauff will play in Sunday's final of the WTA 500 Mubadala DC Citi Open. Sakkari advanced into her first final in 2023 after defeating the top seed Jessica Pegula in three sets by 6-3 4-6 6-2. Gauff will play in her second final this year after winning the WTA 250 event in Auckland. The American scored a straight sets victory over the last year's champion Liudmila Samsonova, winning by 6-3 6-3. Sunday's clash will be the first title match on WTA 500 level for both the players.
Sakkari resists the pressure
The Greek has approached her Saturday's match against Jessica Pegula during the series of 6 consecutive loses in the semifinals of WTA tournaments. Pegula being a top seed playing on her home soil was rated as a pre-match favorite related to odds, but it was Sakkari who started this match way better. The current world's number 9 was playing very effectively from the start and won the opening set by 6-3 with two breaks gained after two breakpoints created. Sakkari continued her good run in second set as well, earning another break in 4th game and leading by 6-3 4-1. Pegula did not find the way to create any danger during her opponent's serve up to this point, but the things turned over, when Sakkari was approaching the finish line in this match. The American broke for the first time in 7th game and clicked the gear to win 4 games in a row, forcing a decider almost out of nowhere.
While the stress resistance of Sakkari in the big moments of high profile match could start to be questionable again, the Greek has regrouped well in a decider, putting a pressure during 3 out of 4 service games of her favorized opponent, who has already turned over the fates of this match. Sakkari responded with a series of 4 games won in a row since the score 2-2 in third after losing the second set in similar way and secured a final's spot after great performance and making an upset of home crowd's favorite.
Gauff routines Samsonova
The mission of title defence performed by Liudmila Samsonova was going really well during the week in Washington, as the reigning champion approached the semis without losing a single set, playing with a rare consistency throughout all the matches played so far. The things changed in the semis, as the 8th seed played under the par in a clash against Cori Gauff, who capitalized on her great form showed up during the quarterfinals, where she demolished Belinda Bencic by 6-1 6-2. Gauff was a slight pre-match favorite and took the lead after the start, controlling it to the end without facing any single breakpoint. Second set started simillarly, but Samsonova had her chances to come back into contention, as she created 5 breakpoints in two Gauff's service games just after getting broken by the American. The world's number 7 saved all the danger and moved into the final in quite a comfortable way. It was not a good show up from Samsonova, who commited 49 unforced errors, way too much during such just two sets in a match with such a big stake.