Sabalenka keeps WTA Finals hopes alive

Getty Images

Aryna Sabalenka kept her hopes of progressing to last four of the WTA Finals alive with a straight-sets win over Jessica Pegula.

Sabalenka claimed her second win in three matches with a 6-3 7-5 triumph against her American opponent in Fort Worth, Texas.

Having dominated the opening set, Sabalenka twice failed to consolidate a break of serve in the second.

However, she struck for a third and final time to claim a win that means she will go through in second place in Group Nancy Richey if Maria Sakkari, who is already through, wins a set against Ons Jabeur in the final round-robin match. Pegula exits having lost all three of her matches.

"I’m just happy that I was really focused from the beginning to the end and I was able to finish this match in two sets," Sabalenka said afterwards.

Sabalenka struck 31 winners en route to victory, hitting at least 30 for the 16th match this season.

Only Caroline Garcia (18) and Elena Rybakina (17) have had more such matches on the WTA Tour in 2022, indicating that, if Sabalenka does go through, she has the firepower to threaten to claim the trophy.

BREAK POINTS WON

Sabalenka - 6/12

Pegula - 3/5

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS

Swiatek - 1/3

Kasatkina - 1/1