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Quote of the Day: Jessica Pegula sets the record straight - She did not "leave the court in tears"
"I most definitely was not crying," the American clarified, after an innocent wipe of the eye generated dramatic headlines in the wake of her 6-1, 6-3 defeat.
Published Sep 05, 2023
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Jessica Pegula would like you to know that she was in fact not crying as she left the court, following her 6-1, 6-3 rout against Madison Keys at the US Open. There was just something in her eye.
The American has been one of the most consistent players of the year, and she cemented her status as a US Open favorite when she picked up her second WTA 1000 title in Montreal in the build-up to Flushing Meadows. The biggest question surrounding Pegula was whether she would be able to translate that success into a Grand Slam breakthrough, having reached six major quarterfinals without progressing to the last four.
She’ll have to keep waiting until the next major, after Pegula won just four games in her fourth-round match with Keys. But the disappointment wasn’t enough to make her break down in tears on her way out of Arthur Ashe Stadium—despite the wave of overwrought headlines and posts stating otherwise.
During her post-match press conference, the American set the record straight after spotting some of the journalists who made the incorrect reports:
JESSICA PEGULA: Were you guys the ones that tweeted that I cried when I walked off the court? (Silence) Weren't you guys The Tennis Podcast?
Q. Yeah. I don't do our tweets, but yeah...
JESSICA PEGULA: Okay. Someone said I walked off the court in tears. I most definitely was not crying. I'm pretty sure that was from you guys. I don't know if you tweeted it exactly. I definitely wasn't crying, so…
It just sounded really sad. I definitely wasn't crying. I just got waxed in like an hour. I got to go play doubles in an hour. I was like, Okay. Anyways…
To their credit, the journalists—hosts of the popular The Tennis Podcast—immediately issued a clarification afterward:
In fact, Pegula had plenty of praise for good friend and countrywoman Keys, who reached her second Grand Slam quarterfinal of the year with the victory.
“I thought Maddie played lights out, I thought, serving, returning, hitting the ball so clean,” Pegula acknowledged. “I mean, she was painting the back of the line. There really wasn't that much I honestly could have done."
“I don't think I played my best, but at the same time she never really gave me a chance much to get back in it," she added. "Every time I felt like maybe there was a window, just wasn't happening.
“I think it was a combination of things. But honestly, we all know how she can play. She's still a huge threat when she can play like that.”
No. 17 seed Keys will take on No. 9 seed Marketa Vondrousova, the reigning Wimbledon champion, in the quarterfinals.