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February 25, 2022

Coco Gauff

Jessica Pegula

Doha, Qatar

Press Conference


3-6, 7-5, 10-5

THE MODERATOR: Congratulations. You teamed up quite late by the sounds of it, and you have come away with a title and a 1000 at that. Just talk us through how excited you both are to win here in Doha.

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, we're super excited. I don't think we were expecting to win the tournament let alone a 1000. We said before, seriously, last week was the first match we won together. We have teamed up before but we've had some first-round exits.

It's good to kind of, I don't know, yeah, find our chemistry a little bit on court and get that going. That obviously paid off a lot this week. Yeah, super excited. Again, did not really expect to kind of win the tournament.


Q. Congratulations, ladies. Tough draw, two of the top three seeds that you had to go through and some comebacks. You talk about the chemistry that you maybe found a little bit on the doubles court. Either of you want to take the question, but what was it that you think finally clicked here in Doha?

COCO GAUFF: I think we just kind of, well, we lost first rounds, so I don't think we were expecting anything, to be honest. We were playing more free.

I always knew that we had the ability to be a good team. Like I mean we both do well in singles, and both of us do well in doubles with other partners, so it was like we have the tools. We just need to figure out how to use them.

Finally this week, even last week we kind of got the machine starting, and this week it just kind of ran through.

Q. Do you guys practice at all together doubles, or is it just like when you step on court, that's it?

COCO GAUFF: No, we never practiced doubles before.


COCO GAUFF: But we practice singles practice.

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, at tournaments we'll usually practice at least once, I feel like. Then at home, we have practiced a few times at home but not like a ton, because we live pretty close to each other, actually. Yeah, I feel like we hit a lot.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, we hit a lot, but just never doubles.

JESSICA PEGULA: We did a little bit of doubles drills last week but nothing crazy. I think we kind of know what we have to do.

I'm not sure if doing those drills is really going to make a difference. I think it's more just like at this point, you know, like 20 minutes before the match, I'm not sure if that's really going to change much.

But I think more like strategy and like where to serve, where to go, like looking at patterns, looking for the lob, just like little things like that, I definitely think we talked about and did way more than at the beginning when we started playing.

Q. Can you talk about today's match, just in general, coming back from that first set? They are absolutely on a roll. They were a set away from sweeping in the Middle East. So what do you think you did to be able to turn that match around?

COCO GAUFF: I feel like on the deuce points we kind of tried to play them percentage play more. We lost like four or five deuce points.

JESSICA PEGULA: I think we were 1 for 6 on deuce points in the first set, which is crazy, so we knew we were right there.

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, so even though we were down 3-0, whatever, I don't remember the first-set score, 3-0, 4-0, I don't remember, but every game was deuce. I'm like, We're there. We just need to convert, and we finally did convert.

Then eventually the momentum started to go our way and we started to play more aggressive and started to put pressure on them and that's kind of what got us through it today.

Q. In terms of what it means, it's a 1000, and not just that, but again, you beat like really good teams this week, I mean, what does this title mean to you guys, both as a team and individually?

JESSICA PEGULA: Well, I think it just proves we are good doubles players. It's kind of like the same thing in singles, when you start winning and get a couple big wins, and you're like, Oh, wow, I can actually play at this level, I can win this tournament.

It's just like that next step of like belief, I guess. With doubles it's the same thing. You're still out there competing and you want to win.

You know, again, taking home a 1000 is awesome. We were joking too, I mean, they're a good team. They play amazing with other, they have won slams, won medals, so, yeah, I think it just proves we can play at that level.

I think we were really aggressive today, and I think it just proved that it paid off and won us the match where maybe we're a little bit more hesitant than some other doubles teams, but I think we proved that we can play like that.


Q. So are we going to see you guys more frequently at -- I think, Coco, you're still with Caty at Indian Wells, I think, entered there, but when Caty is not around, are we going to see more -- we are trying to come up with a name for you guys, haven't figured it out yet, your team name, lot of suggestions.

JESSICA PEGULA: I don't think anything is going to beat McCoco, to be honest. It's kind of perfect. So I don't know if I want to get...(laughter).

Q. Do you guys think you'll play together more?

COCO GAUFF: Yeah, I definitely think we will play together more. I mean, how can you not? It's a 1000.

I mean, how can you not? We are going to talk about it and look at the schedule and figure out when to play. I think that after this week it definitely kind of put in perspective that we are a good team. We lost first round like three times, I think --

JESSICA PEGULA: Against some really good teams that won the tournament or made semis, finals.

COCO GAUFF: We are like, Okay, oh, we won. It really changes like your perspective. Yeah, I think for sure we are going to play some more.

JESSICA PEGULA: We are pretty much on similar schedules.

COCO GAUFF: We play pretty much the same tournaments.

JESSICA PEGULA: It's going to help we are ranked around the same singles, and I think we will definitely be able to pair up and our singles and doubles will both be high.


JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, we'll get in and stuff like that. Definitely we will play at some point. And race to Shenzhen, year end.

Trust me, yeah, you know me. I'm already processing --

COCO GAUFF: That's the first thing she said afterwards. I'm not even thinking about the race. (Laughter.)

JESSICA PEGULA: David was like, You know if you win, you guys are going to be the top team in the race, like you have to play again. I'm like, I know, but...

COCO GAUFF: We will play again.

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, we will. (Laughter.)

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