In a thrilling Pan Pacific Open final held in Tokyo on Sunday, eighth seed Veronika Kudermetova clinched her first title of the season and second overall with a commanding 7-5, 6-1 victory over world number four Jessica Pegula.
Kudermetova’s aggressive play allowed her to assert dominance early, breaking Pegula’s serve for a 3-0 lead. However, a brief setback in the fifth game saw her surrender a service break, allowing Pegula to level the first set.
An untimely double fault from Pegula ultimately gifted Kudermetova the opening set. The Russian world number 19 then amplified her intensity in the second set, surging ahead 5-1 before securing the victory on her third matchpoint with a powerful serve.
This triumph marked Kudermetova’s second win over Pegula this season, following her earlier victory in the Madrid quarterfinals. Impressively, it was also her fifth victory in the last six matches against top-10 opponents.
Throughout the tournament, the 26-year-old displayed her prowess by defeating world number two, Iga Swiatek, further solidifying her position among the elite in women’s tennis.