Jabeur, Pegula join former champs Bencic, Kasatkina in semis

Jabeur, Pegula join former champs Bencic, Kasatkina in semis

The top four seeds at the Credit One Charleston Open have advanced to the semifinals for the first time in 23 years.

No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula joined Belinda Bencic, Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina with a victory Friday night, battling former world No. 2 Paula Badosa and tricky evening conditions on Credit One Stadium court.

The world No. 3 won 6-3 7-6(6) in one hour and 41 minutes: “She lifted her level,” Pegula said of her Spanish foe. “We both had to fight nerves. The depth in women’s tennis is incredible right now; you can’t take any match lightly.”

Prior to Pegula taking the court, reigning champion Bencic denied Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-3 6-3, to book her spot in the semifinals for a third time in her career (2014, 22, 23).

Earlier, the 2022 runner-up Jabeur as well as Kasatkina – the 2017 winner – secured their spots in the semis, with wins over Anna Kalinskaya and Madison Keys, respectively.

Jabeur, the No. 2 seed, led Kalinskaya 6-0 4-1 in the first singles match of the day when the world No. 70 retired due to illness.

The Tunisian star is into a third consecutive semi here. Kasatkina, meanwhile, is back for the first time in five years having made the final eight in 2018. She rallied from a set and a break down to beat Keys, the 2019 champ, 6-7(5) 6-4 6-2.

Updated draws & schedule

Jabeur, Kasatkina set showdown

Jabeur is now 13-5 in Charleston, the world No. 5 having lost to Belinda Bencic in the 2022 final. The two could be on track for a re-match of that championship match, which Bencic won in three dramatic sets.

Kasatkina beat Keys for just the second time in 10 outings, though it was their first on clay.

“Me and Dasha [have] had a lot of three-setters together,” said Jabeur, who is 4-2 vs. Kasatkina, including 2-0 on clay. “It’s going to be definitely a physical match. She’s someone that loves clay. She’s someone that her game suits clay a lot. I think the key [Saturday] probably will be patience.”

In their last meeting, Jabeur saved a match point in last year’s Rome semifinals, winning 7-5 in the third set. Kasatkina said, however, she has no regrets from that match.

“[That] is the only match which I’m not regretting anything,” Kasatkina said. “I’m not sure if I would [have] won that match and after that I would make the Roland-Garros semifinal.”