Jessica Pegula has been recognized by "Forbes" as one of the world's leading young luminaries with selection to the magazine's "30 Under 30" list.

Chosen annually, the list highlights young change-makers in 20 different industries, from art and entertainment, healthcare and sports, to finance, media and social impact. Pegula leads a list of athletes chosen for 2023 that also includes basketball stars Napheesa Collier and Anthony Edwards, college athletes Angel Reese and Olivia "Livvy" Dunne, and world champion sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson.

Ranked outside the Top 100 as recently as four years ago, the 29-year-old American, the daughter of the billionaire owners of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres "can more than stand on her own now," wrote the magazine. Pegula's career-best 2023 season saw her win a pair of WTA singles titles, establish herself as one of the WTA's most consistent competitors and reach the final of the WTA Finals, as well as reach world No. 1 in doubles.

"I always thought that I would make [success] happen, but at the same time, putting in all the work and making it happen four years later, about where my mindset was, I don't know if I really truly believed it," Pegula said in a video interview accompanying her selection. "I did, but I didn't. It's just been a very long journey."


The Buffalo, N.Y. native is also leaving her impact off the court as a member of the WTA players' council, a board member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Tennis Association, and an entrepreneur with her own skincare line Ready 24.

But all that is just the beginning for a player who says she hopes her legacy will be just "know[ing] I helped the game."

"Helped kids, especially," she said. "I love tennis, and I think it's created so many opportunities. Even just sitting here today, the opportunities it's created for me, it's insane.

"Hopefully [I'll] leave a mark, not just results-wise. Whether it's just helping us get to equal pay or helping more kids get racquets in their hands, I think any of those things would be amazing, and I want to give back to the sport as much as I can."