Jessica Pegula is aware of the fact that she comes from a privileged background and knows that it is something most people might not embrace immediately. Unlike many players, the American does not have a rags-to-riches story. Her parents Terrence Michael Pegula and Kim Pegula are some of the richest people in America.
Terrence is a billionaire businessman and petroleum engineer and the owner of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Buffalo Bills, a National Football League team, and the Buffalo Sabres, a National Hockey League team. They also own the Rochester Knighthawks (National Lacrosse League) and the Rochester Americans (American Hockey League).
Asked at a press conference if people were not in favor of rooting for her story, Pegula said that she’s well aware of her privilege but stated that she’s also very down-to-earth.
“No, I just mean like with my family and stuff, you know, I know I was more privileged than other people, and I'm aware of that. I try to be very down-to-earth, and I think I am,” she said, adding, “Yeah, I know that's maybe not the story people gravitate towards, right? They may think it's interesting. I know some people do, but, yeah, I'm aware of that and I know that.”
The 28-year-old also said that she knows she’s earned the respect of her fellow tennis professionals with her performances.
“I also think I have a lot of people's respect as well. I think it's kind of known at least on tour and with players that, yeah, I have that respect. But again, it's kind of under the radar. So I don't know. Maybe that's just me, I guess,” she said.
Jessica Pegula beats Emma Raducanu to enter 2022 Cincinnati Open quarterfinals
Emma Raducanu, who had beaten former Grand Slam champions Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka in the previous two rounds, exited the Western & Southern Open on Thursday following a straight-sets defeat to Jessica Pegula in the Round of 16.
Armed with a clinical backhand game, the American seventh seed registered an impressive 7-5, 6-4 win against the Brit. Her aggressive, varied ball-striking quickly ended Raducanu’s hopes of picking up her first win against a top-10 player.
Pegula will next face Caroline Garcia for a spot in her second straight WTA 1000 semifinal, having done so at the Canadian Open in Toronto last week.