Jessica Pegula 2022 season report card: A look back at a watershed year for the American No.1

World no. 3 and American no. 1 Jessica Pegula.
World no. 3 and American no. 1 Jessica Pegula.

When Jessica Pegula recently became the player with the most WTA 1000 wins across the last two seasons, she highlighted that just five years ago she struggled to string together two straight wins. She further stated that one can always improve no matter the situation, and she was, without a doubt, among the most improved and best players this season.

While the focus was largely on Coco Gauff, who is her doubles partner, and Serena Williams' potential return in the first half of the season and her eventual farewell in the second half of 2022, Jessica Pegula flew under the radar and did a pretty good job of it. She recently called time on her 2022 season with her withdrawal from this week's Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which came after the lows of her WTA Finals debut followed the highs of winning her maiden WTA 1000 title at the Guadalajara Open.

Pegula's season ended with six straight losses at the WTA Finals, across singles and doubles, but those results cannot overshadow her otherwise incredible season, inarguably her best year on tour.

The American player started the 2022 season at No. 18 in the WTA singles rankings and ends it at a career-high No. 3 and as the highest-ranked American player in the world. Pegula matched her best result at the Australian Open by reaching her second consecutive quarterfinal in Melbourne at the start of the season, before also producing career-best results at the year's other three Grand Slams. The 28-year-old reached the quarterfinals of the French Open and US Open, and the third round at Wimbledon.

Pegula reached at least the quarterfinals of eight tournaments but a title still proved to be elusive. That changed at the Guadalajara Open last month, where she went all the way to clinch her first title of 2022, the biggest of her career so far.

Despite losing the last three matches of her singles season at the WTA Finals, Pegula has won exactly twice as many matches as she has lost this season, recording a 67% winning record. 36 of the 42 matches she won this year came at the WTA 1000 level, further highlighting that she has firmly established her name among the very best.

Doubles success adds to Jessica Pegula's incredible 2022 season

San Diego Open - Day 7
San Diego Open - Day 7

Jessica Pegula's breakthrough season did not just stop at singles, as all of her career doubles titles came this year. Like singles, Pegula's doubles season also ended with three straight losses at the WTA Finals alongside Coco Gauff, with whom she won three titles and reached the French Open final. However, it did not put a dampener on her overall doubles record this season, winning as many as five titles in all and ending the year as the doubles World No. 6.

Pegula started the 2022 season outside the Top 50 in the doubles rankings and ended it inside the Top-10. Very few players have had such watershed seasons in both singles as well as doubles in recent memory.

Jessica Pegula often found her name alongside the likes of Venus Williams and Serena Williams in 2022

2022 WTA Finals - Previews
2022 WTA Finals - Previews

Jessica Pegula emulated the likes of Venus Williams and Serena Williams on multiple occasions this season with some of her stats, further highlighting her achievements. The biggest among them was her year-end ranking of No. 3 in the world, which is the highest finish by an American player since Serena Williams finished No. 2 in 2016.

Pegula and Gauff also became the first two Americans to be ranked inside the top 4 since the Williams sisters did so in 2010. Pegula was happy, to say the least, to see her name alongside the all-time greats in some of the statistics.

"It's crazy to me that I've been able to see stats where like, ‘since Serena, since Venus, since Serena and Venus’. I just think it's crazy that in that realm I'm able to hit and be mentioned in the same statistics as her [Serena]," Jessica Pegula said in an interview with Eurosport.

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Edited by Anirudh
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