Jessica Pegula to Take on Magdalena Frech in Second Round of Mutua Madrid Open

ParallelDesk 12:27:10 PM, 27 April 2023

World No. 3 Jessica Pegula will face qualifier Magdalena Frech in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Friday. The tournament is a WTA 1000 event with a prize money of €7,652,174 and is being held at the Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain on outdoor clay. The match will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel in the USA and Amazon Prime Video in the UK. Pegula, who won four of her five singles ties in the inaugural edition of the United Cup, led the Americans to victory. She then reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the third year in a row and made it to the final of the Qatar Open. Though she lost to Iga Swiatek in straight sets, she followed it up with a semifinal showing at the Dubai Tennis Championships. The American bowed out of the BNP Paribas Open in the fourth round but performed better in Miami by making it to the final four. She commenced her clay swing at the Charleston Open and defeated Anna Blinkova, Irina-Camelia Begu, and Paula Badosa before losing to Belinda Bencic in the semifinals. As the third seed in Madrid, Pegula received a first-round bye. Frech, on the other hand, scored wins over Olga Danilovic and Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov to qualify for the main draw here. In her first-round match, she faced Jasmine Paolini. Though the Pole fell behind 2-1 in the opener, she reeled off the next five games to clinch the set. The second set played out in a similar manner, with Paolini jumping to a 3-1 lead, but Frech staged another comeback by bagging the next five games to win the match 6-2, 6-3. Pegula leads Frech 1-0 in the head-to-head. She won their previous encounter at the 2021 Chicago Fall Tennis Classic in straight sets. The odds are in Pegula's favor with a moneyline of -900 and Frech at +525. The handicap bets of Pegula going +1.5 (-3000) and Frech going -1.5 (+850), with the total games at over 19.5 (+100) and under 19.5 (-145), are also available. Frech's fighting spirit was on full display in the previous round, but she will need to maintain a similar attitude against Pegula in the next round. Pegula is one of the most consistent players on the tour at the moment, with early losses becoming a rarity for her. She possesses a well-rounded game that leans more toward the defensive side and is able to grind out her opponents to come out on top. The World No. 3 is also a capable returner, winning 46% of return games so far this season. A runner-up in Madrid last year, Pegula has shown she is able to overcome challenging conditions at the venue. However, Frech hasn't won consecutive matches at the main draw level this season, making it tough to see her scoring an upset win over Pegula considering the form both of them are in right now. As such, the prediction is for Pegula to win in straight sets.

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