Ons Jabeur beats Jessica Pegula in three sets to stay alive in WTA Finals

World number two Ons Jabeur has recovered from an upset to become the first Tunisian to win a WTA Finals match.

The tournament’s second seed, who fell to Aryna Sabalenka on the opening night in Fort Worth, Texas, defeated her fellow 28-year-old Jessica Pegula 1-6 6-3 6-3 on Wednesday after winning the last three games in the second and third sets.

“After the first set, she was playing really well and really fast,” Jabeur told the Tennis Channel.

“The balls were tough, very low – I know she likes to play the balls like that. And I just had to find that click to just change up the rhythm and impose my game.”

Defeat would have ensured Jabeur left the tournament following seventh seed Sabalenka’s loss to Maria Sakkari in a later match.

The Greek world number five needed just one hour and 37 minutes to beat Sabalenka 6-2 6-4, in a marked departure from the nearly three hours she took to achieve victory against the same opponent at the tournament one year earlier.

“If you’re not aggressive on this court, then it’s just game over,” Sakkari said after her match.

“If I was passive, especially against her, the biggest hitter on the tour, then it’s just bye-bye. I just went for it. If I’m not going to go for it here, when am I going to do it?”