Gauff and Pegula were on a roll this season, with both earning career-high rankings of No. 3 and No. 4 respectively, marking the first time that two American women have been ranked inside the top 4 since Serena Williams and Venus Williams in 2010.
They demonstrated their prowess not just in singles but also in doubles, winning three titles as a pair, which helped them qualify for the WTA Finals for the first time. Despite entering the tournament on the back of an incredible season, both Pegula and Gauff unexpectedly lost all of their singles and doubles matches.
"If you're gonna play, be ready to play and go and play. Don't say you're tired, because if you are tired, then don't play. These kids have so many people around and they should know that's what they pay them for, to do the best," Connors said.
Drawing on his own experience from his time as Andy Roddick's coach, he added that both players should have sought advice from their teams before deciding whether to compete.
"It's like I told Andy when we had this chat. I said, 'I never told you one thing that was gonna hurt you. Everything that I was telling you was for your benefit, and I wanted you to win just as much as you wanted to win.' That's the way all the people around either it's Coco Gauff or Jessica Pegula or whoever has to look at it. Tennis is a 24×7, 365 days a year job and if you're not willing to do that, take what you get," Connors stated.
"I think it's not a good thing they went off but they will take a learn from it and move on" - Brett Connors on Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula
Jimmy Connors' son Brett Connors also offered his thoughts on the subject, stating that both Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula had relatively outstanding seasons and will learn from their mistakes at the WTA Finals and be prepared for the 2023 Australian Open.
"They are almost like a little ahead of time. They are both top five, Pegula kinda jumped up there at the end of the season and she has had a great year. Both of them have had great years, Gauff making the French Open finals," Brett Connors said.
"So, I think it's not a good thing they went off, but they will take a learn from it and move on and they will enjoy the time being ready for Australia," he added.