Ons Jabeur (L) vs Jessica Pegula
Date: 7 May 2022.
Tournament: Madrid Open 2022.
Venue: Madrid, Spain.
Category: WTA 1000.
Prize money: €6,744,165.
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel | UK – Amazon Prime Video.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula preview
Eighth seed Ons Jabeur and 12th seed Jessica Pegula will square off in the title showdown at the Madrid Open on Saturday.
World No. 10 Jabeur started the season strongly with three back-to-back quarterfinal appearances on hardcourt. But ever since the tour moved to clay, the Tunisian has gone a notch higher.
She finished as the runner-up to Belinda Bencic in Charleston last month. After yet another quarterfinal appearance in Stuttgart, Jabeur has made a dazzling run this week to her first-ever WTA 1000 final in Madrid.
The 27-year-old has beaten some quality opponents in Simona Halep, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Bencic. This will put her in good stead ahead of the biggest final of her career.
Jessica Pegula in action at the Madrid Open
Similarly, World No. 14 Jessica Pegula, too, will be involved in the biggest final of her career at the Madrid Open. She sealed her spot in the summit clash with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Jil Teichmann on Thursday.
The American came back from the jaws of defeat against Camila Giorgi in the first round, where she had to save a match point. But since then it’s been smooth sailing for the 28-year-old, who has won four matches in a row without dropping a set.
Pegula has made rapid strides at the WTA 1000 level in the past couple of years, with 28 wins under her belt since the start of the 2021 season. The American came to Madrid with a lot of confidence, having made the semifinals in the most recent WTA 1000 tournament in Miami.
Having gone one step further in the Spanish capital, she will hope that her Madrid campaign culminates in title glory.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head
Jabeur and Pegula are tied at 2-2 in the head-to-head, having split their four meetings so far. While Pegula won their first couple of matches at Quebec City in 2018 and Montreal in 2021, Jabeur emerged victorious in the last two at Chicago in 2021 and Dubai earlier this year.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula odds
(All odds sourced from BetMGM)
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula prediction
Ons Jabeur in action at the Madrid Open
Jabeur put up a strong display on serve against the dangerous Alexandrova, which was one of the primary reasons for her success in the semifinals.
She powered five aces past the Russian and won 81% of her first-serve points. Off the ground, the Tunisian kept it clean, striking 13 winners to just nine unforced errors.
The win against Alexandrova would have prepared Jabeur well for her final against yet another flat ball-hitter in Pegula. The only difference is that the American is far more consistent than Alexandrova and has had strong results in the recent past to back it up.
Pegula brought out her aggression right from the start against Teichmann in the semifinals, which put her at an advantage straight away. She managed to find the lines with superb accuracy, finishing with 22 winners to 13 unforced errors.
One statistic that stood out from her performance was that she won 70% of her second-serve points. This pretty much shut out whatever little chance Teichmann had of clawing her way back into the game.
That said, finding a way to hit past the super solid Jabeur will be a different ballgame altogether. She won’t give the American free points on a platter like Teichmann did. Jabeur’s dropshots and fantastic court coverage will also come in handy in breaking down a power-hitter like Pegula.
The former junior French Open champion has had the upper hand in their last couple of meetings. Jabeur knows exactly what to bring to the table to repeat that success over Pegula once again.
Prediction: Ons Jabeur to win in three sets.