“I always thought I would make it happen”: Pegula named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30”

Jessica Pegula shares about her passion for impacting others after being named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for 2024

Jessica Pegula, Tokyo 2023 Zuma / Panoramic

American Jessica Pegula has capped off a stellar year on the WTA Tour by being named in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for 2024.

This season has seen Pegula finish inside the world’s top five for a second consecutive year, ending 2023 as the world No 5 after reaching as high as No 3 earlier in the year.

However, Forbes’ recognition comes off the back of not only Pegula’s tennis accomplishments, but also her potential to contribute more broadly in the sport as an inspiration for others.

Injury-free Pegula relieved at the consistency of 2023

Pegula has always had promise as a tennis player, but her early years were stymied by injury. After finishing 2020 as the world No 62, the past three years have seen the American finally step into her potential.

2023 was a season like none other, however. With two Grand Slam quarter-finals, her second Masters 1000 title in Montreal, a WTA 500 crown in Seoul and a deep run to the final of the WTA Finals earlier this month, Pegula has well and truly stamped her mark on the WTA Tour.

“I always thought that I would make it happen,” Pegula said, speaking of her success this season to Forbes magazine. 

“At the same time, putting in all the work and making it happen four years later, about where my mindset was, I don’t know if I really truly believed it. I did, but I didn’t. It’s just been a very long journey.”

Pegula motivated by more than tennis

With Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek battling it out for the top spot in women’s tennis, and Coco Gauff stepping into her potential this year as well, Pegula has her work cut out for her in 2024 if she’s to maintain her upward trajectory.

However, the American has been clear that for her, the legacy she’s looking to leave is about more than tennis results alone.

“I would love to just know that I helped the game. Helped kids, especially. I love tennis, and I think it’s created so many opportunities. Even just sitting here today, the opportunities it’s created for me, it’s insane,” the world No 5 shared recently.

“Hopefully I’ll leave a mark, not just results-wise. Whether it’s just helping us get to equal pay or helping more kids get racquets in their hands, I think any of those things would be amazing, and I want to give back to the sport as much as I can.”

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