October 19, 2022
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
J. PEGULA/E. Rybakina
2-6, 6-3, 7-6
THE MODERATOR: Jessica, do you want to give us your quick thoughts on the match.
JESSICA PEGULA: Obviously, it was a really super tough match. Came down to the end there. Was able to save some match points, but I guess sometimes that's just how it is.
So I'm happy I got through. Happy I didn't get too frustrated with myself after losing that first set, and I was able to battle back against a very in form, tough player in these conditions.
Q. Congrats for the win. A really difficult match today. What adjustment did you make on second set and third set because the first one it was really hard?
JESSICA PEGULA: Adjustment on what?
JESSICA PEGULA: Oh, just 'adjustments'.
Well, I think, first match with the altitude, it's always tough a little bit. She had a match under her belt, so I felt like I was getting a little bit frustrated with the conditions at first just because it feels different than where I played last week.
So I used a different racquet stringing tension, which helped a little bit, and I was able to just kind of work my way into the match.
I don't know. I think I was just able to hang tough. I started trying to figure out where she was serving a little bit. I started serving a little bit better.
I think in the end my energy was a lot better, and that helped.
Q. What do you think about the Mexican fans' love?
JESSICA PEGULA: They love screaming my name. It's awesome. They're super excited (laughing). And they've been super supportive today. So it was really nice to see the fans cheering for me.
It's my first time playing here in a really, really long time, since I was in juniors, so I really appreciate the fans support.
Q. After many years of lessons and problems and now you are in your best moment. You are top ten, and you are playing great tennis. How do you feel about that?
JESSICA PEGULA: No, it's been awesome. I think the last couple of years I've really just won a lot of matches. I've been able to play a lot. I've been able to stay really healthy. I think that helps give myself opportunities every single week to go in and get better.
And I think I've just had a good mindset. You know, after a couple of tough losses, I'm able to always bounce back. I just feel like I mentally have been really tough the last couple of years. As I've been playing more, I've been gaining more and more experience and feeling better at the top level.
Q. First, well, you are in a very good year this 2022. You won here, and this tournament is very important because it's before the WTA Finals. You are qualified in singles and in doubles. Earlier today Coco Gauff got that ticket for WTA Finals. How do you feel about it? And what can you tell us about the qualification of Coco Gauff?
JESSICA PEGULA: It's been awesome to qualify for singles and doubles. I think as the year went on and I was doing pretty well, it definitely became more of a goal for me as the results kind of came.
Then when I started doing well with Coco in doubles halfway through the year, I think that became kind of a clear goal for us as well to try to make WTA Finals.
It's pretty cool that we're able to make both singles and doubles, both of us, and be in both competitions. It's pretty awesome. I don't think it's happened in a little while for both of us to be in singles and doubles.
I think it means a lot for us for our country to be the first Americans to do it in a really long time. Now that the Finals are in the U.S., I think it makes it extra special, so we're super excited.
She's just amazing. She's 18, I think. She's still so young and accomplishing so many things. So I really enjoy being on the court with her and practicing with her and playing doubles with her.
Q. Jess, just on that challenge at the end, was that a desperation challenge, or did you see it as out?
JESSICA PEGULA: The whole match, the balls... We both hit pretty hard. With the ball kind of flying how fast it is, it's so difficult to see.
But I mean, I thought it was close. I honestly thought it was probably in. Like, if I was playing a practice set, I probably would have called it in.
But I had two challenges left, when it's, I don't know whatever the score was, 9-8 or whatever it was. Yeah, it was a little bit out of desperation, but it was close (smiling).
You know, you never know. I felt like at the end there if I had a decent chance to think it was out, I had two challenges left, so might as well use them. I'm not saving them for anything. So I'm glad I did.
Q. Then she was serving really, really well, even in those late stages. I can only imagine it was very frustrating that she kind of came up with those serves in the big moments. So how did you kind of mentally stick with it and not let it slip away with the way that she was playing?
JESSICA PEGULA: Yeah, I thought she was serving really well, and I didn't really think I was serving that well, but I think I adjusted a little bit in the end.
I realized I wasn't getting a lot of free points, so I decided to kind of serve a little bit smarter. And I think when I started doing that, I started feeling less pressure on my return.
I also started I think reading where she was serving a little bit more as the match went on. Definitely in that third set I was starting to see it a little bit more.
But, I mean, if she's going to serve aces, at that point in the score, you kind of just have to let it go and say too good. Obviously, it's really difficult to do in the moment because you get really frustrated.
But I thought I did a good job after the first set of just accepting, like, okay, she's going to serve well, she always serves well. She's a big server.
I think I looked at David at one point. I said, I don't know where she's going, she's hitting all of her spots.
He goes, She's got a big serve.
I was just kind of like, Yeah, it's true. It's not like it was a surprise going in.
I think it was especially tough in altitude because obviously it favors the big servers as well.
Q. It was one of the bigger celebrations we've seen from you, maybe not since the Australian Open, the Sakkari match. I'm curious, was it just tension release? What was it that made that win feel so sweet?
JESSICA PEGULA: Of course, I saved match points. It was such an awkward challenge. I feel kind of bad that I celebrated, but at the same time in the moment it was so necessary because it was just a lot of stress relief at the time.
Just the way that I fought there and came back. I wasn't feeling perfect. I had one and a half days before I came here, and I had a really tough second-round opponent. I mean, I played the girl who won Wimbledon second round. It's crazy.
So for me, I think it was just the mental battle of getting through that was just kind of a release.
Q. Bianca next, so it doesn't get easier necessarily. Can you just talk about that matchup and what you make of her game? Put on your analysis hat.
JESSICA PEGULA: I think she competes really well. She's a great athlete. She moves well. I think it's going to be tough with how she hits the ball. She serves and returns really well and likes to take it early.
Same thing: it's going to be super tough. I'm just going on have to figure it out, and I think, again, not get too frustrated.
With the conditions, the points are quick and fast. Sometimes unlucky, sometimes lucky, and you don't really know what's going to happen.
I think as long as I keep a similar mindset, you know, and adjust my strategy accordingly, that hopefully it will be a good match.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports