American Jessica Pegula outrageously dominated Russian Liudmila Samsonova to win the women’s singles final of the National Bank of Canada Tennis Open in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 on Sunday afternoon at IGA Stadium.
The final score is absolutely not misleading, like the table which was used to indicate the total duration of the match: 49 minutes. A contrast with the many marathon duels that had furnished the previous eight days of the tournament.
Against an opponent who had finished her semi-final match against Elena Rybakina two hours earlier, Pegula dominated in every way, but two stats stand out in particular.
She played 19 points after placing her first serve in play, and she won them all.
Also, she did not concede any break chance to Samsonova and broke five in eight occasions.
In all, Pegula won 51 of the 72 points that were played and won the last 11 games of the match.
Secured to retain third place in the world rankings, Pegula won a first tournament in 2023, and a third in her career. It is also his second triumph at a WTA 1000 event.
Her win over Samsonova capped off a prolific week that saw her beat good friend Coco Gauff on Friday and world number one Iga Swiatek on Saturday.
These two duels had been much more demanding. Pegula needed 2h 21min to dispose of Gauff, and 2h 30min to eliminate the Polonaise.
Sunday, the tone of the duel would be given from the fourth game of the initial set when Pegula got a first break with two superb forehands.
The same scenario repeated itself two games later, but this time it was Samsonova who flinched by sending a forehand into the net.
After losing the first set in 21 minutes and a visit to the locker room, Samsonova seemed to recover as she won the first three points on her serve.
However, Pegula went for the next five points for the first of three breaks in the second set.
Even when Samsonova seemed to have pulled off a move that would benefit her, she came away empty-handed.
The best example came in the third game of the second set when Pegula joined a skillfully dropped cushion to her left before returning the ball from the backhand, crosswise, inside the limits and out of Samsonova’s reach.
Pegula would go on to win 12 of the next 16 points, including the one confirming her victory following a backhand from Samsonova from beyond the baseline.
Samsonova has come a long way
At the start of the afternoon, after a difficult first round, Samsonova had dominated Rybakina 1-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Samsonova, ranked 18e in the world, needed 1h 43min to beat Rybakina for the third time in as many confrontations, including one played in Montreal in 2021.
However, the first did not foreshadow such a scenario. In just 28 minutes, Rybakina completed the first set, winning the last five games.
However, the wind was going to change completely. Rybakina lost all three of her serve games in the second set, and the set. In one of them, she committed three double faults in a row.
She was also broken to start the third set.
This break at the start of the third set was enough for Samsonova, which did not prevent the Russian from collecting another one in the seventh game.
Obviously, Rybakina was not at the best of his physical abilities on Sunday. Obviously there was the fact that her Friday match against Daria Kasatkina ended at 2:53 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Also, she played her match against Samsonova with a bandaged right shoulder.
“Yes, I feel demolished because of the schedule and the whole situation. It doesn’t really make me happy, but things are like that, ”she said at a press conference.
“Unfortunately, players can’t do much in these situations. The decision is not really ours. The weather didn’t help and I had an injury I would say. But we tried to manage everything and we’ll see how it goes then, ”added Rybakina, who seemed more disappointed with the WTA than with the Montreal organization of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara won the doubles final 6-4, 4-6, 13-11 against the duo of American Desirae Krawczyk and Dutch Demi Schuurs.