Pegula claims for second title of year in Seoul

USA’s Jessica Pegula poses with her trophy following her victory against China’s Yuan Yue in their women’s final match at the Korea Open tennis championships in Seoul on October 15, 2023.

US top seed Jessica Pegula won the WTA Korean Open in Seoul on Sunday with a straight-sets win over China’s Yuan Yue.

The 29-year-old, whose mother was born in Seoul, eased through 6-2, 6-3 for the fourth title of her career and second this season after Montreal in August.

World number four Pegula also reached the finals in Doha and Tokyo this year.

“My mom is Korean and she was adopted from here so it’s really special to be able to win here,” Pegula said.

“In the last few years, as my ranking has gone up, I’ve definitely felt so much more support from the fans, a lot more than I expected coming back here from five years ago. So it’s really special.”

Pegula, who reached a career-high world number three last year, has never managed to get past the quarter-finals in the four Grand Slams.

It was the first WTA final for 128th-ranked Yuan, 25, who has never reached a quarter-final before this week.

“Last time we played was a battle and this one was as well,” Pegula said of their second meeting.

“You’re really talented and I told you your ranking is going to go up. You told me it’s your first final but I’m sure there will be many more.”