August 4, 2019 / 7:49 PM / 14 days ago

Pegula breezes past Giorgi for first WTA title

(Reuters) - Home favourite Jessica Pegula made quick work of Italy’s Camila Giorgi to win her maiden WTA title at the Citi Open in Washington on Sunday.

Aug 4, 2019; Washington, D.C., USA; Jessica Pegula of the United States kisses the championship trophy after her match against Camila Giorgi of Italy (not pictured) in the womenÕs singles final at William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The 25-year-old American breezed to a 6-2 6-2 win over the outplayed Italian in just 59 minutes, claiming the first two games in both sets to set the tone.

Giorgi fought back to 3-2 in the first set but Pegula took the next three games as the Italian’s errors mounted.

The second set was even more one-sided as Pegula marched to a 5-1 advantage before Giorgi, on the comeback trail after wrist and ankle injuries, won a second game.

Pegula, the daughter of the owners of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills and National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, closed out the match with a stunning service winner and sank to her knees in celebration.

“I’ve always played so well here,” Pegula said afterward. “So I’m so happy I can get my first title here.”

She is the first American to win the women’s tournament since Sloane Stephens in 2015.

The hard-hitting player won 81% of her first serves and saved the only break point she faced against the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist.

Pegula, who has won three of her four meetings with Giorgi, was playing in her second WTA final, having lost in Quebec City last September.

Ranked world number 79, she broke Giorgi in the opening game of the match. Her service returns enabled Pegula to reach triple break point at 4-2. She then obtained a second break after another miscue from Giorgi, polishing off the set with a forehand winner.

The Italian opened the second set with a blistering winner, but remained inconsistent and lost the next four points in a row. Giorgi had her only break point in the next game, but squandered it after another wide backhand error, and Pegula responded with fiery forehands to go up 2-0.

At 5-2, Pegula used a strong forehand to force another error and get to double match point, which she converted immediately with a service winner.

Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina; editing by Tony Lawrence

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