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“I’m kind of like ‘next goal'” – Pegula on becoming top-ranked American player in the world

Pegula is the highest ranked American player on either the WTA or ATP Tour but the 29-year-old has her eyes set on newer challenges

Jessica Pegula at the 2023 Miami Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament Jessica Pegula at the 2023 Miami Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament Image Credit: Zuma / Panoramic

At No 3 in the world rankings, Jessica Pegula is the top-ranked American tennis player across both the WTA and ATP Tours. But if you thought the 29-year-old American is sitting back and basking in her accomplishment, you would be wrong.

On Saturday, Pegula defeated countrywoman Danielle Collins in straight sets to move into the last 16 of the Miami Open and she was then asked what it felt like to be the top-ranked American player.

“It has been very rewarding and fun, though, to hear it announced before every single match. I think it’s so much fun. Especially in the States, you really see people respond to that. Even No. 1 women’s player. I’m like, No, I’m the No. 1 men’s and women’s player in the U.S.,” Pegula said.

“It’s just fun. I think it’s a cool thing that I get to say and I get to hear. People really obviously respond. People that don’t even watch tennis, when they hear that, it’s like an automatic, Oh, wow, you must be really good. I think that’s really cool. I think it’s gained a lot of respect throughout the tennis community, tennis fans, even ex-players, people that work the events. It’s surreal. It’s bizarre.”

“How do I become No. 2, win this tournament, get more titles?” – Pegula

However, the two-time WTA titlist did admit that she is already focussed on other goals, which include rising up the rankings and winning more titles.

“I think it’s one of those things that once you accomplish it, it’s kind of like I wouldn’t want to say it’s checked off, but you did it, and then there’s another challenge. Then how do I become No. 2, win this tournament, get more titles? There’s always something else that you’re chasing. I’m kind of like ‘next goal’. I want to accomplish the next thing. But staying the top-ranked American is something I want to keep doing. That’s also another goal,” the five-time Grand Slam singles quarter-finalist added.

Pegula’s next match will see her take on Poland’s Magda Linette in Miami with the winner moving into the quarter-finals of the WTA 1000 event.

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