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Jessica Pegula wins Berlin title to ready for Wimbeldon

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jessica Pegula won her fifth career singles title on Sunday in Berlin, finishing her rain-delayed semifinal defeat of top seed Coco Gauff before rallying to beat Anna Kalinskaya in three sets of the Berlin Open final.

Coming days before the start of Wimbledon, where Pegula reached the quarterfinals last year, this was the first championship on grass for the world’s fifth-ranked player, born in Buffalo and daughter of Bills and Sabres owner Terry Pegula.

The 30-year-old Pegula, recently named to the U.S. Olympic team, withdrew from the French Open last month to focus on her recovery from an April neck injury.


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Pegula came back after dropping the first set 7-6 against Kalinskya to win the second set 6-4. She saved five match points to win the tiebreaker set 7-6. The semifinal was suspended Saturday with Pegula leading 7-5, 6-6 (3-1). She won four of the last five points to reach the final.

Olympic tennis starts July 27 at Roland Garros, the site of the French Open. The American team features six first-time Olympians, the U.S. Tennis Association said in Thursday’s announcement.

Gauff and Pegula have won five doubles titles as a pair. Gauff won her first major doubles title — with Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic — at the French Open this month.

Gauff, ranked No. 2 in the world, is the U.S. Open champion and has reached the semifinals at the year’s first two Grand Slams, the Australian and French Opens. She was a finalist on the Roland Garros clay in 2022 and will be a medal contender in doubles, too. Gauff tested positive for COVID-19 days before the start of the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics in July 2021.

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Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.

The Associated Press contributed.

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