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Kudermetova defeats Pegula to reach Madrid Open semifinals

Mutua Madrid Open - Day Ten

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 03: Veronika Kudermetova plays a forehand during the Women’s Singles Quarter-Final match against Jessica Pegula of the United States on Day Ten of the Mutua Madrid Open at La Caja Magica on May 03, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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MADRID -- Veronika Kudermetova reached the semifinals of a WTA 1000 event for the first time by upsetting third-seeded Jessica Pegula 6-4, 0-6, 6-4 at the Madrid Open.

The 12th-seeded Kudermetova sealed her victory with an ace on her second match point to set up a semifinal match against either No. 1 Iga Swiatek or Petra Martic.

Pegula was trying to reach her second consecutive final in Madrid. She was runner-up to Ons Jabeur at the clay-court tournament last year.

It was the fourth consecutive three-set win for Kudermetova.

“I feel so happy and proud of myself, because every match I played three sets,” the fifth-ranked Kudermetova said. “Before this match, every match was almost three hours. Today, only two hours, I feel fresh.”

She had reached three quarterfinals at WTA 1000 level or above, all in 2022, including at Roland Garros for her best run at a Grand Slam. The 26-year-old Kudermetova had reached two other semifinals this year, in Adelaide and Doha. She entered the tournament in Madrid on a four-match losing streak.

Pegula struggled on her serve and showed frustration at times, including by knocking her racket onto the ground. She was broken three times in both the first and third sets, though needed only 22 minutes to get through the second as Kudermetova won only five points.

The last player to reach the Madrid semifinals by winning four straight three-set matches was Dominika Cibulkova in 2016, when she was runner-up to Simona Halep.

The other women’s semifinal match will be played between second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari.