Monday, May 20, 2024

Billie Jean King Cup 2024: Jessica Pegula vs Sofia Costoulas; Preview, Head-to-Head, and Prediction

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The Billie Jean King Cup is set to take the center stage of WTA action until the Madrid Open. USA will face Belgium in the 2024 qualifiers, and the first match will be played between Jessica Pegula and Sofia Costoulas. Both are currently worlds apart, as Pegula is at the top of the WTA. Costoulas, on the other hand, is looking to make her claim in the WTA Tour.

While Pegula showed us the skills that lay dormant in her, she has not been able to repeat the feats this year so far. A coaching change has cost her as she continues to adapt to the Tour. 

Jessica Pegula vs Sofia Costoulas: Preview


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Pegula has not had the best season so far. Her top performances came in the San Diego Open and the Miami Open, where she reached the semifinal and quarterfinal, respectively. She played in the Charleston Open with hopes of achieving good momentum but found herself having a difficult time. Her only straight-sets victory came against Magda Linette, and the rest were close calls. 

Kasatkina took advantage of Pegula being out of form to send her packing in 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. Both weren’t far off from each other as Pegula won four more points than Kasatkina overall, but the Russian player capitalized on points that were more significant. Pegula had a 50% win on first serve and 58% on second serve. Now, Pegula will play the Billie Jean King Cup and is looking to get a better result. 

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Costoulas is a 19-year-old Belgian player who has not been able to carry the momentum from her 2023 season. She has only played in ITF and W25 tournaments this year. Costoulas has faced several first and second-round exits, with some exceptions in the W25 Dominican Republic 01A and ITF Japan 02A. 

She played the ITF Japan 07A and beat So-hyun Park 6-2, 6-2, and then Priscilla Hon 6-2, 6-2 as well. However, Lee Ya-hsuan would demolish her hopes of continuing 1-6, 2-6. She only managed to win 16 receiving points, and despite landing 73% of her first serves, she only saw success in 50% of them.  

Pegula vs Costoulas: Head-to-Head


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Costoulas has not made her WTA Tour debut yet. Which means that Pegula and she have never traded blows before. The Billie Jean King Cup is one of the few places that could hold their clash, and Costoulas will face someone from the top of the WTA table. The experience will be of prime importance to her as she will understand the skill set needed to become someone like the World No.5 in women’s tennis. 

Prediction: Pegula to bring victory to the USA

Team USA has always been a dominating force in the Billie Jean King Cup. This year is not bound to be different. Pegula and Costoulas are in very different positions in their career, and the American will steamroll her opponent. The youngster has yet to make her WTA Tour debut, which is a completely different ballgame from ITF. 


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USA Today via Reuters

One might imagine that a surprise is always possible, but the Belgian player has not yet shown that she has reached the skill required to win against Pegula. Her performances this year are not an ode to her potential so far. She may be able to push herself for a few games and score some good points, but the ultimate victory lies with Pegula, who will win in straight sets.

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