Pegula saves match points vs. Azarenka in thriller, to face Kasatkina in semifinals

Pegula saves match points vs. Azarenka in thriller, to face Kasatkina in semifinals

Credit One Stadium, Credit One Charleston Open 2024 Credit One Charleston Open Day 7 at Credit One Stadium on April 05, 2024 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jessica Pegula took tennis fans on a wild ride on Friday afternoon at the Credit One Charleston Open.

The top seed and world No.5 saved four match points in the third-set tiebreak after having a quartet of her own a few games earlier, prevailing in two hours and 36 minutes, 6-4 3-6 7-6(7).

Pegula will face No.4 seed and 2017 champion here Daria Kasatkina in Saturday’s semifinals, after she survived a come-from-behind win against this week’s Cinderella story, 83rd-ranked Jaqueline Cristian of Romania, 6-7(4) 6-2 6-3.

MORE: Updated draws | Saturday’s order of play

Pegula leads their head-to-head 2-0.

The first two quarterfinals of the day totaled some five combined hours, with the remaining two matches still to come. 

Pegula matches her run to the semifinal from a year ago, where she lost to Belinda Bencic across two days due to weather. Pegula is looking for her first Charleston final in six main draw appearances.

Kasatkina needed nearly three hours herself – two hours and 42 minutes – to move her Charleston record to 17-3 in four appearances.

She also needed three sets to beat American teen Ashlyn Krueger earlier in the week in the second round, and beat No.15 seed Anhelina Kalinina in the third round.

The run to the final four marks the 26-year-old’s first clay court semifinal since she made the same round here a year ago, losing to eventual champion Ons Jabeur.

“It was a very, very tough match from the beginning to the end. We were both fighting for our lives today,” Kasatkina told reporters. “Also, we showed a pretty good level of tennis, and, yeah, really happy with the effort I put today to come back after the tough loss of the first set and then be able to get [to a] better level.”

2024 Charleston Open Daria Kasatkina Jaqueline Cristian Jessica Pegula Victoria Azarenka
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