WATCH: Jessica Pegula has now reached two finals this year, both at WTA 1000 level.

After overcoming adversity on Saturday night against former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, opportunity knocks for Jessica Pegula at the Guadalajara Open Akron.

The top-ranked American, seeded No. 3 at the last WTA 1000 event of the year, moved into her second final of the season with a 7-6(3), 6-1 win against unseeded Azarenka, a match in which she trailed 3-0 in the first set. Nonetheless, Pegula bounced back to record an 89-minute victory against Azarenka and level their overall head-to-head at 2-2.

"She comes out super intense, and I got down kind of quick, but I knew if I could just work my way back into the match, I would give myself chances," Pegula said in victory. "I didn't just want to let that first set go. ... I think it paid off.

"Battling the altitude, the conditions, the wind, the cooler air, playing at night really for the first time, playing someone like her who I haven't beaten in the last couple times, there are a lot of things. Especially to go to a final, it's really special. I'm just proud of how well I adapted out there today."


Pegula's two finals this year have both come at the WTA 1000 level; she was beaten by Ons Jabeur in the championship match at the Mutua Madrid Open in May. Pegula is the first American to reach two or more WTA 1000 finals in a single year since Sloane Stephens in 2018.

Her win against Azarenka was also her 40th of 2022, making her the fourth woman to hit that milestone this year after Iga Swiatek (62), Jabeur (46) and Daria Kasatkina (40).

Having already qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas in both singles and doubles, Pegula's still put in the hard yards this week to get a shot at winning her second career WTA singles title. She's beaten four Grand Slam champions to reach the final; she saved three match points in a second-round win against Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, and lost just 12 games in four sets against Bianca Andreescu and Stephens before beating Azarenka.


Pegula has won 38 matches at WTA 1000 events over the last two seasons to lead the tour. She sits ahead of world No. 1 Swiatek, who has 36 such wins.