American No. 1 tennis player Jessica Pegula has withdrawn from the Billie Jean King Cup.
Pegula, who was forced to miss the 2021 event due to COVID-19 concerns, was looking forward to representing the United States in the tournament set to be held from November 8-13 in Glasgow, Scotland. The World No. 3 has, however, scratched the plans after falling sick and having a winless run in singles as well as doubles at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas.
Previously, World No. 1 Iga Swiatek had voiced concerns over the scheduling of the WTA Finals and the Billie Jean King Cup and had announced her decision to withdraw from the latter. The ongoing WTA Finals in Texas will conclude on November 7, while the ITF event will commence a day later on November 8 in Glasgow. At the time, Jessica Pegula had agreed with Iga Swiatek but had stated that she would be contesting both tournaments.
"It’s great that she spoke on that subject. Just to let everyone know that it’s affecting her, affecting players. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for her deciding not to represent Poland. That means it needs to change - for someone like that to stand up," Pegula had remarked.
Jessica Pegula’s withdrawal has paved the way for Caty McNally, who will join the line-up of Coco Gauff, Danielle Collins, Madison Keys, and Taylor Townsend. The team will face Poland on November 9 and Czech Republic on November 11 in a bid to grab the semifinal spot at the Billie Jean King Cup.
"I was not myself" – Jessica Pegula on her WTA Finals losses
Jessica Pegula made her WTA Finals debut after a stellar year that saw her reach a career-high in singles as well as doubles. Pegula participated in the Finals, straight off of winning the biggest title of her career at the WTA 1000 Guadalajara Open. However, the American was unable to bank on the momentum and was overcome by fatigue at the season-ending tournament in Texas. Speaking about her WTA Finals run, World No. 3 stated that the losses were unfortunate but she was happy to have qualified to contest the prestigious title.
"It's always tough but that's tennis. You have one good week, and then you're right back at it the next week. There's just a lot of really highs and really low lows. I feel like this was a reward for me at the end of the year to be able to come and play Finals, and to finish winning Guadalajara was obviously a huge accomplishment for me," she said per WTA, adding "But yeah, the celebrations definitely get cut short when you show up here and I lose three matches. You're kind of down in the dumps again about your performance."
"I wish I could have given the fans more yesterday..I was not myself & the combination of a long year/getting sick hit me hard. However I’m so honored to be w/ the most amazing group of girls. Wishing them all the best in the rest of the tourney, we all have much to be proud of," Pegula wrote on social media.