For the second time in as many matches this week in Indian Wells, Jessica Pegula found herself a set down but produced an impressive comeback to beat Anastasia Potapova in the Round-of-32 at Court 2. No.3 seed Pegula rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win over Russian Potapova in a battle that lasted for 2 hours and 17 minutes. The American stood strong and delivered her top-level play to reach the last 16 in the California desert for the second time in her career.
Earlier, the 29-year-old American came from a set down to beat Camila Giorgi of Italy in her opening match. Pegula will face the winner of the match between Czech Petra Kvitova and Latvian Jelena Ostapenko to advance for the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells 2023.
Many fans expected that the Russian ranked 27th would put up a really strong fight but she almost defeated the American and many fans in the stands were very worried for much that final set. Potapova played a pretty flawless first set to take it 6-3 and put herself in a great position to win the match. Both players had chances in the opening set but ultimately it was the21-year-old Potapova who used hers to secure it.
Pegula used all her skills and experience to claim the second set 6-4, forcing the match into a decider. This time the American served a bit better and that made things far easier and she also used her chances well. An early 3-0 lead was almost thrown away by Pegula but she broke back to keep her afloat 4-2. She then threw it away completely as her opponent made it 4-4 but a late break sent the match into a deciding set. It was a pretty crazy one with Potapova taking an early lead and holding it pretty comfortably. But Pegula found a way to break back and made it 3-3 which solidified the play of both with the American ultimately coming out on top 7-5.
After sealing a crucial victory, Pegula admitted the key to turning the match around was an all-around improvement in her level. For much of the first hour of the match, she found herself on the losing end of protracted baseline rallies that Potapova was dictating.
I started playing a little bit smarter, getting a lot of depth on my shots, Potapova came out playing really well and I was pretty frustrated. She is a great player and I think it was just a respectable battle today, said Pegula.