Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova in action during her quarter-final match against Jessica Pegula of the U.S. at the Madrid Open on May 3, 2023.
Veronika Kudermetova, the 12th-seeded player, caused a huge upset at the Madrid Open by defeating the third-seeded American, Jessica Pegula. The match was long and hard-fought, with Kudermetova winning 6-4, 0-6, 6-4. This victory marks the first time Kudermetova has reached the semifinals of a WTA 1000 event. She will now face the winner of the match between No. 1 Iga Swiatek or Petra Martic.
Pegula was aiming for her second consecutive final in Madrid following her runner-up finish to Ons Jabeur at the clay-court tournament in the previous year. Unfortunately for Pegula, she struggled on her serve and showed frustration throughout the match, even knocking her racket onto the ground.
Notably, Kudermetova’s victory was her fourth consecutive win in a three-set match. She commented on her achievement by saying, “I feel so happy and proud of myself, because every match I played three sets. Before this match, every match was almost three hours. Today, only two hours, I feel fresh.”
Since last year, when Kudermetova reached three quarterfinals at WTA 1000 level or above, the Russian player has been trying to build on her success. This year she reached two other semifinals in Adelaide and Doha. Before the Madrid tournament, Kudermetova had been on a four-match losing streak. Her victory over Pegula marks a very important moment in her career.
The last player to reach the Madrid semifinals after winning four straight three-set matches was Dominika Cibulkova in 2016, when she finished as the runner-up to Simona Halep. The other women’s semifinal match will be played between second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka and ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari.