By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Sunday, May 28, 2023
Jessica Pegula it is good that she is not considered part of the new, as yet unofficial “Big Three” in the WTA.
Even then, ironically, it is currently ranked 3rd in the world.
Pegula enjoyed a relatively straightforward 6-4, 6-2 opening round win over another American Danielle Collins when the first evening session of Roland Garros came to an end.
Later in a press conference, Pegula was asked about her thoughts and feelings about not being considered part of the new perceived “Big Three” in the women’s game, which includes No. 1 seed and defending champion Iga Świątek, No. 2 seed and an Australian. Open Champion Arnya Sabalenka and seeded No. 4 and reigning Wimbledon Champion Elena Rybakina.
— Jessie Pegula (@JLPegula) May 28, 2023
Pegula took the question calmly and revealed that she didn’t really dwell too much on the conversation.
“No, I’m not a part of it (laughs), but I hope to be one day. Hopefully this year,” said Pegula. “They deserved it. They play really solid tennis. Iga, we already know from last year. Aryna I felt like I broke through in Australia until I won the slam, but I think her results were always up there, and then Elena under end of last year.
“My point is, seeing how consistent they are, I think they deserved this right. Of course, when it comes to the ranking, I’m still third, but I’m sure that can change. I can go up or down, whatever. It depends on the results.
“But yeah, I think they deserved the title, and I think it’s nice to see the three girls dominate. I hope I can be part of this conversation, but I think either way it’s still great for women’s tennis. Especially since everyone is always talking about inconsistency and all that.
“I just think it’s because we have a lot of really great depth. It’s nice to see them, yes, playing really, really good tennis and I feel like that’s good for the sport too.”
The top American is hoping for a strong Roland Garros after mixed results leading to his second major of the year. After reaching the semi-finals in Charleston and quarterfinals in Madrid, Pegula was eliminated in the first round of Rome ahead of Taylor Townsend.
“I think Rome was difficult. Yes, I had a bit of a nagging injury in Madrid and Rome. Then a two-week tournament,” said Pegula. “Then I got food poisoning last week. I think there have been a lot of obstacles, especially in the last few weeks that have been really hard physically and then taken a toll mentally because of that.
Pegula added: “Yes, I’m glad I was able to change my perspective at least today and be able to play some really great tennis. I hope now that I have two days off, I can postpone it to the next match. “
In the second round, she will face Italy’s Camila Giorgi.
Image credit: Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA