World No. 21 Jessica Pegula is impressively back in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open for the second year running. But with the 2021 edition of the tournament having been staged in mid-February, due to a pandemic-induced postponement, this run during its traditional spot on the calendar comes with a special source of inspiration: the NFL playoffs.
It’s widely known in tennis circles by now that Pegula’s parents, Kim and Terry, are the owners of the Buffalo Bills. Much like Pegula the last few years, the Bills have been on the rise, and Sunday, they hope to take another step forward towards their version of lifting an inaugural major against the host Kansas City Chiefs. As fate would have it, Pegula, who is 17 hours ahead in Melbourne, has the freedom to tailor her schedule accordingly without a match to play Monday.
“I will take time to make sure I watch them, then hit later in the day afterwards,” she told press Sunday after taking down fifth seed Maria Sakkari, 7-6 (4), 6-3.
“It's nice that it's on TV here, the playoffs. It's been pretty easy to watch.”