Iga Swiatek, ranked second, upset Aryna Sabalenka, ranked one in the globe, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday to go to the WTA Finals championship final.
Two months ago, Sabalenka passed Swiatek for the top spot; however, she would only hold it should Pegula prevail.
Pegula advanced to the WTA Finals title match on Saturday by defeating her countrywoman Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-1 in under an hour, extending her winning run to nine wins overall.
Although Swiatek leads Pegula 5-3 in their lifetime series, the American has prevailed in two of their three meetings this year—at the United Cup and in a hardcourt semifinal in August. Pegula lost to Swiatek in the Doha final this year.
The keys for tomorrow, I can’t really tell you,” Swiatek remarked. “I’m going to work on that.”
Rain caused havoc with the week’s schedule at the outdoor hardcourts in Cancun, Mexico, including stopping Swiatek and Sabalenka only three games into their semi-final match on Saturday night. As a result, the final was postponed till Monday.
When action picked back up on Sunday, Swiatek led 2-1 on the serve and the Pole had taken the lone break of the first set.
Using an overhead smash, Swiatek broke early in the second set and again for a 5-2 lead. She then held serve to win on her first match point with a winning serves.
Sabalenka had defeated Swiatek in the semifinals of the WTA Finals the year before, and the two had split their first two matches this year, both on clay.