home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 30, 2022

Jessica Pegula

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference

J. PEGULA/V. Golubic

6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Can you just take us through the victorious match and your first round of the Open.

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, always a little nerves, I feel like, going out there for your first match. Just your first match on the courts, the conditions, stuff like that. Yeah, I thought I did a pretty good job of handling it, got through rather quickly, which I feel could have been a very, very tricky opponent, especially somebody who qualified and has a lot of confidence on the courts.

Just, yeah, happy with my performance today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Wondering what you were going back to in your mind this year and leaning on in your game that's been working so well for you the past couple weeks?

JESSICA PEGULA: I think just knowing that I can play well even when I'm not feeling great and knowing that no matter how many practices you have or how you feel that it's your job to kind of go out and figure it out when you get there on court. I think sometimes before a slam, you can get really kind of in your head or, you know, more frustrated because there is a lot of buildup and there is a lot more hype.

I think that's what I have been doing great all year, so I'm going to try to go back to that and that feeling of just kind of staying in the present moment during the match and doing what I have to do there and not worried about all the other feelings you kind of get throughout the process of a slam.

Q. How do you set expectations, given kind of the mindset you just talked about? Do you even worry about that?

JESSICA PEGULA: Expectations, I mean, I'm kind of a perfectionist so I feel my expectations of myself are always high. At the same time I think you have to set a lot of small goals. If it's just like what I talked about, trying to stay present in practice or not getting frustrated in practice or if it's the one thing you are working on that day, I think that can help those expectations feel not as much pressure, I guess. Kind of just small stepping stones or baby steps to your goals that you have.

Yeah, it's tough. I always feel like I have very high expectations and I'm always like constantly, like, in between trying to enjoy myself and then how do I get better? I feel like a lot of top players are like that. It's a really hard balance to try to get.

So balancing that is, it's hard, especially during a slam, but, yeah, I don't know. Small goals, I try to do the best I can, take it day by day. I think that helps.

Q. A question about Viktorija. She struggled here. I find it kind of interesting she's got this weird statistical anomaly, 1 and 18 at the slams outside of Wimbledon yet she's such a talented player. She nearly beat Andreescu here last year. Do you sense anything about her that makes her vulnerable here or at certain places?

JESSICA PEGULA: I have no idea. I feel like I always see her play the top players really close. Maybe she's gotten some tough draws, as well.

I feel like she should play well. The courts are fast. She likes the slice. I've seen her play indoors Fed Cup where she's played, like, really well. I was thinking to myself it would be a really tough match, tricky. Knowing, like you said, she almost beat Bianca here. I remember when she almost beat Halep in Australia.

The fast conditions I thought would suit her, but I don't know what it is. I feel like that's a question you need to ask her. She won three matches here and she quallied here, so she was obviously starting in quallies, that's a good tournament.

I mean, I'm glad I was able to kind of throw her off her game maybe a little bit. But it's a weird stat. That kind of sucks (smiling).

Q. Do you approach this tournament as a pretty fairly big opportunity? I know at Roland Garros where you reached the quarterfinals and broke into the top 10, you said as you left after your match with Iga that I think there is nowhere to go but up, that you believe that?

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, of course. I always think every tournament as a chance. You never know what's going to happen every week, whether it be a breakthrough or even at a smaller event, sometimes the smaller breakthroughs can lead to a lot bigger ones. I think every week it's really important to take everything you can out of that week and move on to the next week.

It's always easier said than done, but of course this is another great opportunity for me. I feel like I'm coming in here with more experience than last time, maybe playing a little bit better than last time. I hope. Again, it's day by day. You see a lot of upsets first round, second round, so I'm just trying to make my way through and do the best I can from there.

Q. I'm curious, amongst the top-10 players this year in particular there are a lot of you have been top-10 players for the first time are also right around that ranking trajectory where you would have been also in the 250s or qualifying together like three, four, five years ago, even Iga being young couple years ago was still playing low. I'm curious if that has any impact or influence in kind of the vibe around the top 10 at the moment? It feels like a lot of you are really familiar with each other from when your rankings were in the 60s, 70s, et cetera.

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, I think a little bit. I feel like that probably happens with a lot of players. No? Like you kind of come up at the same time just age-wise or -- I don't know. Has it been more this year than usual?

Q. Yeah, feels like it.

JESSICA PEGULA: Feels like it? Well, I think you see each other do well, and you're like, They're doing well. Why can't I do well? Or maybe it's somebody you practice with a lot, things like that.

I think I feel like Maria, Ons, Paula, I remember seeing them all kind of escalate and start to play really well. I feel like a little bit quicker than I did. I feel like I'm maybe a little bit later to that pack.

I'm sure it all motivated each other to see each other do well, and especially if you practice with someone a lot or you're around them a lot or you've played them in matches a lot in tournaments, and they end up winning the tournament or they break through. I think it's just a motivation.

It's also confidence that you can do it too. Maybe you are beating them in practice and then you see them in the semis of whatever and you're like, Wait, I just beat her in practice. Like, I can do the same thing.

So I think that has a lot to do with it, and I think we've all been playing quite a bit, staying relatively healthy, at least for the most part. Again, I think it's so important nowadays because it just at least gives yourself opportunities every week to be there.

To be fresh physically and mentally, I feel that is just a big part of it. If you start missing out on some of those weeks then you have to play catchup. I think, I don't know, maybe that's what it is. I'm not sure. It does feel like that though, I guess.

Q. I wanted to ask you about that really good three-setter you had against Anett last year in Canada. I think you got her right before she went on that nutso tear? What was the trickiest part of her game for you in that match?

JESSICA PEGULA: Well, she's really consistent, moves very well, I think she returns very well. I feel like almost we play like a little similar in a way where there is not like a major weakness, but she's really good at redirecting the ball, returning well, when she's serving well she can serve well. I wouldn't say -- it's not like a Serena-esque serve. I think she's a smart player and I think she kind of knows her game and knows how to play within herself and knows what she needs to do.

Yeah, I think she also competes really well too, as we have seen in the last year. I feel like she's won a lot of matches, like three-set matches or come from behind kind of victories.

So, yeah, I think she's going to be tough.

Q. An opponent like that who is steady and solid and everything, how did that change the game plan for you? Is it more pressure, I have to be really good at the things I'm good at, or...

JESSICA PEGULA: I think you want to play -- it's hard. You want to go for your shots and play your game, but at the same time maybe you have to play not different but maybe you have to play someone where you have to make them uncomfortable so that they can't feel like they can just play their game as well.

That's like a tough balance. When you're playing maybe someone like Anett, I don't even remember what I did. Sometimes it just comes down to a few points her missing a shot or a double fault here and there. That's what it takes. But for me, I don't really remember, I think I returned pretty well, I think I had to win -- change up where I was serving a little bit because she was making a lot of returns.

I don't know. Sometimes it's just little things you pick up in a match, like if there is one shot, well, she's missed that three or four times. How do I get her in that position to make or miss that shot again?

It could be little things like that. Or you could have a complete strategy before you go out, and you are just sticking to that the entire time. Sometimes it doesn't always work. Sometimes they might make the shot like a bunch of times, but you are hoping like in the pressure moments or on a big point that they don't.

So there is a lot of little things. That's kind of a loaded question and answer (smiling).

Q. This one is strictly hypothetical, but if you were to face Iga, which a lot would have to happen between now and then, would you go into it with a lot more confidence given, A, it's hard court, B, she's come down to earth these last couple of months?

JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, I think that would help. She's not on like a 20-match winning streak. No, I think the faster courts maybe suit my game a little bit more.

She's still No. 1 in the world and still going to compete really well and going to be tough to beat no matter what. I think I would just be happy to be in that situation again, because that means we would be meeting further down the line and I would like to think about that when the day comes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297