Fixture: (13) Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula
Date: 13 August 2021
Tournament: National Bank Open 2021
Venue: IGA Stadium, Montreal, Quebec
Category: WTA 1000
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Prize money: $1,835,490
Match timing: Approx 8.30 pm local time, 12.30 am GMT, 6 am IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula preview
Jabeur is having a phenomenal season this year. The Tunisian has built a strong 36-13 win-loss record for the season, winning her maiden WTA title in Birmingham and reaching the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time in her career.
While the opening-round loss at the Tokyo Olympics was an aberration, Jabeur is back to winning ways in Montreal. She has notched up three impressive wins this week, with the latest coming against defending champion Bianca Andreescu in three sets.
Jabeur will look to show that same fighting spirit when she takes on World No. 30 Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals.
After a bright start to the season - including a run to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open as well as Dubai and the semifinals at Doha - Jessica Pegula has struggled for consistency over the last few months. She had reached the last eight only twice in her last nine tournaments leading up to Montreal.
The 27-year-old has also been put to the test in her first three matches here, but has come out with flying colors each time. Pegula has ground her way to three-set wins over Anett Kontaveit, 10th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the in-form Danielle Collins to reach the quarters.
The tenacity and stamina that she has shown this week will likely stand her in good stead against a player of Jabeur's caliber.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula head-to-head
Jessica Pegula leads Ons Jabeur 1-0 in their head-to-head, having won their sole encounter 7-6(3), 6-4 at Quebec City in 2018.
Ons Jabeur vs Jessica Pegula prediction
This is a match of contrasting styles. While Jessica Pegula will aim to dictate from the baseline with her fiery forehand, Ons Jabeur has the guile and finesse to neutralize any opponent's power. The Tunisian's variety and superb placement of the ball could well put Pegula in a spot of bother.
Jabeur's serve could also make a difference, assuming she is able to cut down on her double faults. Against Andreescu she produced nine aces against seven double faults, but was able to win 81.6% of her first-serve points.
Pegula, on her part, powered four aces past Collins but managed to win just 58% of her first-serve points. If the American isn't allowed to play her brand of first-strike tennis, she could find herself in trouble against a varied shot-maker like Jabeur.
The other area where Pegula could find herself at a disadvantage is the time spent on court. The American has played three back-to-back three-setters, amounting to nearly 6.5 hours on the court. Jabeur, on the other hand, has played two three-setters this week and has been on the court for nearly an hour less.
Should the match go the distance, the fatigue factor could come into play and help tilt the balance in favor of the fresher Jabeur.
Prediction: Ons Jabeur to win in three sets.