Pro Media & News

Jessica Pegula qualifies for WTA Finals in Fort Worth

Victoria Chiesa | October 13, 2022


The U.S. will be assured of at least one player at the first season-ending WTA championships on American soil in nearly 20 years: Jessica Pegula has officially qualified for the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas as one of the season's eight best singles players.

 

Pegula officially secured her qualification by beating fellow American CoCo Vandeweghe in the second round of the San Diego Open on Wednesday night. She's the third player to qualify for the field so far after world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon and US Open runner-up Ons Jabeur. Relocated to Fort Worth from Shenzhen, China, the WTA Finals will be played at Dickies Arena from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.

 

The WTA's season-ending championships were last played on U.S. soil from 2002 to 2005 in Los Angeles. 

To take her place in the elite eight for the first time, Pegula has enjoyed a breakout year. She reached the biggest final of her career at the WTA 1000 Mutua Madrid Open in May, and made two additional semifinals at the WTA 1000 events in Miami and Toronto this year. In addition, She also shined at Grand Slams: Pegula made the quarterfinals at three of this season's four majors at the Australian Open, Roland Garros and the US Open. Only the eventual champion (Ashleigh Barty in Melbourne, and Iga Swiatek in Paris and New York) was able to stop her.

 

After reaching the final eight at Roland Garros, Pegula broke into the WTA's Top 10 for the first time on June 6, and her US Open quarterfinal propelled her into the Top 5 (No. 5) on Sept. 12. 

 

Pegula could soon be joined by Coco Gauff as an official qualifier for the season-ending event. Gauff currently ranks fourth in the Race, and could qualify as soon as next week based on her own result in San Diego and that of other players.

Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images.

The pair are also fifth in the Race to the Finals in doubles, putting both players in the unique position of qualifying for both events. Also in the hunt for a Finals berth from an American perspective is Nicole Melichar-Martinez, who's currently eighth in the Race with her Australian partner Ellen Perez. 

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