May 7, 2022
O. JABEUR/J. Pegula
7-5, 0-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Initially just your thoughts on the match.
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, fairly tough match. We were breaking a lot. It felt like whoever could kind of hold on to their serve and consolidate the break was going to win the match, especially in that third set.
I thought it was really high level. I thought we had some really great points. I'm happy. I wish I could have closed off the first set, not just on the set point but I mean like being up 4-1, I wish I could have maybe been more aggressive and kind of taken the lead there, but I was happy with how I bounced back in the second and thought I played really well.
Then it came down to a few games here and there in the third.
Q. In terms of the aggression, you started the match coming into the net quite a bit and putting a lot of pressure on her. Seemed to be quite effective to build that lead. Looked like over time you kind of backed off and made adjustments. Can you talk through that?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, I was up 4-1 and then I lost two quick games. I felt like maybe I was rushing a little bit, so I tried to step back just to give myself a little bit more time once it was like 4-All. So I thought it was a good adjustment at the same time, because I did almost win the first set and I got back in it. But then I think I should have stepped back in a bit once I found my rhythm and put more pressure on her.
I felt like at times I was outplaying her, minus I thought my first serve let me down today. Obviously she wins a lot of points on the dropshots.
Besides that, it felt like at times, I felt like I was playing better points, but her dropshot was pretty clutch today and her first serves when she needed them.
Q. How do you think you handled playing the biggest final of your career, in the moment, a little bit of a delay as well, a lot of curve balls today, but how do you come through that experience feeling?
JESSICA PEGULA: Well, yeah, I felt pretty comfortable, to be honest. I didn't really feel too much nerves. I thought I started off well. Second set was good. Third set I still played there a good game there at the end.
I don't really think I let the moment get to me too much, but yeah, it was definitely a different feeling, but I felt pretty comfortable, which I'm happy with.
Q. You were near becoming a top 10 if you were winning today. That was pressure, or you just go on your way?
JESSICA PEGULA: No, I don't really think I had pressure with that. I still have to win the tournament. I still wanted to win the tournament more than become top 10 maybe, because I know there is always going to be more tournaments. While I'll overall try to reach that goal, it's definitely a goal this year since I'm so close, but I don't really think it played into today.
Q. Talking about tennis in America, they say Serena and Venus are quitting. Collins, yourself, Coco, blah, blah. How do you see it?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, the American women right now, the depth is really amazing. There is Danielle, there is me, Anisimova, Coco, there is Maddie and Sloane, playing well. It's crazy how well American tennis is doing.
I'm glad I'm one of the top ones in a field that's so deep. I think it's great, and I think we all inspire each other every week. It's good to see.
Q. Are you going to work more this week or take a little bit break? How do you feel your body?
JESSICA PEGULA: I'm tired. I ran for a lot of dropshots. I must say I got to a lot of them, but I didn't actually win the point. I'm, like, I don't know if I should just let these go, because I feel like I'm running sprints and I'm not getting rewarded for it.
No, I feel pretty good. It's going to be a quick turnaround with Rome. Maybe I can play Tuesday and get a few days, but I fly there tomorrow. We will see how it goes.
But, I mean, mostly I feel like I'm playing well and I have some good momentum right now, so I really obviously would like to play next week, and then I will take a week off before the French Open.
Q. Just on these two weeks and the success you have had here in Madrid, also we talked last year in Rome, does what you have done over the course of two weeks here and the players you have been able to beat and compete hard against in terms of today with Ons set you up differently for Roland Garros? Do you think you have a different mindset with respect to the clay coming into it?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah. Depending how I do in Rome, but I guess I feel like I'm not a favorite but at least I have a chance. I don't know, one of the players that's playing well.
I know the conditions here are a little bit different. It flies through. We will see how Rome and the French feels. No, it definitely feels different. Yeah, I didn't really expect that coming into the clay season.
Someone that I know that used to work with me was like, I feel really good about where your game is at, you are playing really well, even when I lost in Charleston.
I'm like, Yeah, but it kind of sucks that I'm going through the clay season playing well. He was like, Why would you say that? It's a good thing. I'm like, I guess so.
I guess it's a good thing. I definitely feel like I'm moving a lot better, and that's definitely a big difference compared to last year. So, yeah, it's just I guess a new experience going in as someone who is winning a lot of matches on clay. I think this might be the first time I can say I have won more matches than Iga, which might not last that long, right? I will stick with that for today (smiling).
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