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October 29, 2022

Jessica Pegula

Fort Worth, Texas

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Jess, if you want to start us off, how does it feel being here in Texas, especially off of your win in Guadalajara?

JESSICA PEGULA: It feels awesome. It's been a quick turnaround, but I think obviously that's a good problem to have. So not complaining there.

But, yeah, it just feels quick, but exciting. I feel like this is more of a reward to a really good season. So far it's been great.

Q. Just a few days obviously to process a little bit more everything with Guadalajara, what it meant to you, its significance. Can you put it into words a little bit and how easy or hard is it to come off of that and have to play this event kind of right away?

JESSICA PEGULA: I think to me it's more easy than hard, especially winning it. I definitely wouldn't change the fact that I won it and had to have a quick turnaround.

But, yeah, it's definitely not easy. But at the same time I like kind of being in match rhythm and match shape, so for me the end of the year can kind of drag on.

I think being able to play a lot of matches between San Diego and Guadalajara, where I was pretty much playing for two weeks straight, makes it easier to come straight into here and play for the next couple of weeks.

I like kind of keeping in a rhythm, especially the end of the year, so I don't feel like I haven't played for a couple of weeks, and I don't want to end my year on a bad note.

I think it's much easier, at least personally for me, to be playing lots of matches.

Q. What for you is the significance of getting to this event for the first time, being one of those top eight at the end of the year?

JESSICA PEGULA: I think the significance is just, it's just more of a reward and a confidence boost for me I think to just show what a great season I have and how consistent I've been.

I don't think I started the year thinking about making WTA Finals, but I think as the year went on and it became more of a goal, it was something I'm more proud of now that I was able to accomplish.

So, yeah, it's a huge honor. I think we're just all really excited to be here. Again, I think it's more of a reward for our really great season.

And I think obviously you want to win, but at the same time to me it feels different because it's not a tournament. It's a different format, less players.

I don't know. It's a different... it's just a different week, but it's kind of a fun way to cap off the year. So, again, it feels kind of more like a reward I feel like, but an earned reward. So it's satisfying.

Q. You and Coco are two of four players making your debuts at this event. Is there any meaning behind the idea of there being that many new faces participating in the event that's a small event for just the cream of the crop.

JESSICA PEGULA: What do you mean?

Q. So eight of you make it. Four of you have never done it before. Last year there also was a large number. It was six, but you have to go back 20 years to find otherwise that many new faces taking part. What does that say maybe about tennis? Does it mean anything?

JESSICA PEGULA: I think it just shows the depth. I know that there's not a lot of people saying there's not a lot of consistency or consistent winners, but at the same time I think it keeps it exciting. I think there's always new storylines. I think it just shows that no matter what every week someone can have a great result.

I think for the top players, so to speak, it makes it difficult because every single match is tough. Yeah, it's hard to break through, but at the same time it happens and we see it happen all the time.

So, yeah, I don't know. I think it just shows the depth and diversity within the WTA. I think it also shows how much we play. We play a lot.

I think it shows you have to do really well to make it. You have to be very, more or less, pretty consistent throughout the year, which I think just shows how hard our sport is and how much depth there is.

I don't know. To me it seems harder nowadays. I just think the matches don't come as easy. So I think all the new players, it's just showing the depth that we have with all the girls. Anybody can win any week possible.

Q. I think you touched on this a little bit in Guadalajara, but you're the No. 3 player in the world. Making a name for yourself, your own name for yourself separate and apart from your family - in terms of that accomplishment and being able to do that, I don't know, can you articulate the pride that you should feel, must feel in being able to do that?

JESSICA PEGULA: I think it's always something I've had in the back of my mind a little bit, but I think at the same time when I was younger, I would maybe try to prove myself too much. I think that would create more pressure.

I think over the years I've gotten a lot more comfortable as far as my family or my background and stuff like that. I think maybe taking that pressure off helped me to earn my, I don't know, accomplishments and have people more recognize my name on the tennis court than not.

So it's definitely a very rewarding, satisfying feeling. Especially when a lot of people I know, they know me as a tennis player and, like, a great tennis player, I think that's always really nice to hear.

It's just a testament to all the work I've put in and all the hours and the hard work that I've had to put in to earn that right. And I always knew that maybe in a way it would almost be harder for me to earn that because that's not what my family is known for. Maybe other reasons, but I think at the end I've kind of, I don't know, stopped trying to prove that so much.

In the end I think it came naturally, which is nice.

Q. How has your and Coco's relationship developed throughout this year as doubles partners?

JESSICA PEGULA: Well, we've played before this year, and we never really did that well together (laughing), but we always felt like we could be a good team. So when we broke through and won Doha, we were, like, Finally. Finally we actually played a good tournament and were able to work our way through the draw and I think got a lot more comfortable playing with each other. So that definitely kick-started it.

I think our relationship has always been great. She lives in Delray, so we've practiced together before. We live pretty close to each other. Our teams are pretty close. We're very friendly, always joking, messing around. On the road that can be really nice to have, especially when you are traveling every single week.

Since we're playing a lot of the same tournaments, it's always nice to have that camaraderie, you know, week to week. I think our relationship has just grown obviously from playing a lot together and being around each other in that way.

I think we learn from each other as well, and that's always kind of pushing us to get better. It seems like it because our rankings just keep moving up together simultaneously.

Yeah, it's really cool, and it's really cool that we get to kind of celebrate that here this week.

Q. What have you learned from her?

JESSICA PEGULA: I would say she has, like, really good energy. You know, like a lot of first-pumping, jumping around. Her athleticism and the youthfulness about her. She's very giggly. She laughs a lot. She's always kind of messing around.

I think just having that kind of energy, especially when we're playing doubles, has kind of taught me to kind of do that more in my singles game since I'm pretty laid back, but I think at times I've picked up little things from that.

So, yeah, I don't know, she keeps me young (laughing).

Q. An automatic rematch of the Guadalajara final in your opener with Maria. Just talk through that match having to kind of jump back, play different conditions, different circumstances, and how tough a test that will be.

JESSICA PEGULA: I think maybe some people are, like, Oh, well, she just beat her in Guadalajara. Maybe the thought process is, Oh, it should be an easy matchup. But I think at the same time it's almost harder because obviously she's going to go back and try to change things.

The courts are totally different. The surface is different. The balls are different. Not at altitude. There's a lot of dynamic that changes with that, and I'm going to try and stick to my game plan to what I thought worked well in Guadalajara, but that might have to change a little bit with the conditions.

Yeah, it's kind of weird. It's weird playing each other so close together in such a short time span. Especially coming into here in such a big event.

But I think we'll always think of it as, again, it's another week. I think we're used to doing that and we're used to playing a lot of each other, some of it back to back, week to week.

So I think I'll just look at it as just another match and try to do what I did well in Guadalajara.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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