ZipRecruiter Player Resume: Jessica Pegula

FORT WORTH, Texas—There’s no getting around it: this has been a horrible WTA Finals for Jessica Pegula.

Making her debut at the tour’s season-ending championships, the world No. 3 has dropped both of her singles matches in crushing fashion—the first in two tiebreaks to Maria Sakkari; the second in three sets to Ons Jabeur, despite winning the first set 6-1.

On top of that, Pegula has lost both of her doubles matches with Coco Gauff in supertiebreaks. The all-American team can no longer progress from the round-robin stage.

With Sakkari’s subsequent victory over Aryna Sabalenka, Pegula can still reach the semifinal round in singles, though she’d need to win in straight sets on Friday and hope that Sakkari—who has already clinched a spot in the final four—does the same. (There is one additional scenario which allows Pegula to advance: she must win in straight sets while Sakkari wins in three; a percentage-of-games-won tiebreaker would then be used to determine second place in the Nancy Richey Group.)

“I’m still in?” Pegula responded when told she was not eliminated. Then the 28-year-old expanded on her forgettable experience in Fort Worth thus far.

“I take back, by the way, what I said about the [round-robin] format not really mattering. Yeah, after losing four times in like three days, it definitely kind of sucks more than when you have a week to reset in between tournaments.”


Pegula remains alive in singles at the WTA Finals, but she'll need some serious help in order to advance.

Pegula remains alive in singles at the WTA Finals, but she'll need some serious help in order to advance.

Pegula’s ascent over the past five years has been steady and significant. She ended 2018 ranked just outside the Top 100; the following year, she reached as high as 55th in the world. The Buffalo native ended 2021 ranked No. 18, and is currently just 239 points behind No. 2 Jabeur.

But as high as Pegula has climbed, it still feels like there’s a glass ceiling. She came into Fort Worth with the fourth-most wins on tour in 2022 (42), but with just one title this season (two weeks ago, in Guadalajara). It was only the second title of her career, despite her—prior to the WTA Finals—336-211 career mark.

But however this season ends for Pegula, she should look back at her career year fondly. Some of her achievements include:

  • Australian Open quarterfinal
  • Miami semifinal
  • Madrid final
  • Roland Garros quarterfinal
  • Toronto semifinal
  • US Open quarterfinal
  • San Diego semifinal
  • Guadalajara title

The name Pegula is known to sports fans for another reason: her family owns the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and NHL’s Buffalo Sabres. By now, though, Jessica should be getting attention solely for her tennis. (In addition to her athletic gifts, she also launched a skincare line, Ready 24.)


After her title run in Mexico, Pegula was asked about her mother, Kim, who was hospitalized earlier this year with an undisclosed illness, and also the Bills—the consensus Super Bowl favorite, and a subject frequently seen in Jessica’s social media.

“My mom always kind of joked I was the first sports team as far as helping me with my tennis career growing up,” said Pegula. “I definitely wanted to dedicate it to her. She's had a really tough year. I know she was watching. I’m sure she appreciated that. Usually she gets very nervous watching, so it’s special she got to watch me all week. That’s really cool. I’m sure she was still very nervous.

“As far as the Bills, yeah, I hope they win the Super Bowl. We’re very heavy favorites. That would be amazing. I’d be in Australia if that happens. Hopefully if they're doing well, I’m still in the Australian Open, and that would be pretty cool.”

As a diehard Bills fan myself, I often wonder if Jessica is tired of hearing about the football team in her life every time she plays. She loves them, of course, but might she also not want to talk about them at every tennis stop?

We may never know—but, again, let’s stick to tennis here. As nicknames go, “.jpeg” is a good one for the top-ranked American, but given what Jessica's mom joked about, I think “The Franchise” is even better.