USA 4-0 Belgium: Ruthless Pegula seals USA’s place in November’s Finals

13/04/2024 20:12

World No. 5 Jessica Pegula swept past Hanne Vandewinkel 6-2 6-0 in just 51 minutes to book USA’s place in the 2024 Billie Jean King Cup by Gainbridge Finals

By Ed Pearson
USA 4-0 Belgium: Ruthless Pegula seals USA’s place in November’s Finals
On a beautifully sunny day in Orlando, Pegula barely broke a sweat as she made amends for her slow start to Friday’s singles match.
The American raced to a 4-0 lead in the opening set as Vandewinkel’s efforts against Emma Navarro late on Friday night seemed to be taking their toll.
The 19-year-old Belgian had been in scintillating form on the opening day at the USTA National Tennis Center on the opening day and came very close to causing a major upset against world No. 21 Navarro.
Against Pegula, it was one-way traffic. The American admitted to not being at her best last night in her match against Sofia Costoulas, but said that sometimes you can come back the next day and everything clicks into place.
That was certainly the case against Vandewinkel.
Pegula hit 21 winners en route to more than twice as many points as her opponent, earning praise from her new captain Lindsay Davenport, who took over from Kathy Rinaldi this season.
“We had an amazing week together,” said Davenport. “These ladies taught me the most. Last night, to see the way they fought, they had some tough conditions.
“At 6-2 5-0 today, I told Jess ‘this a lot more enjoyable!’ I think everybody here can see the level that Jess is capable of.”
With the tie decided, USA have booked their place in the year-end Finals in Seville. Belgium, meanwhile, will compete in the Billie Jean King Cup Play-offs.
In the dead doubles match, Caroline Dolehide and Taylor Townsend defeated Marie Benoit and Kimberley Zimmerman 6-3 6-1 to complete a perfect 4-0 win for USA.