Daughter of a US billionaire, Jessica Pegula, could be America's next grand slam champion: Report
Pegula was wearing a white screen-printed patch with Hamlin’s uniform number on her black skirt while she competed at the Australian Open, AP reported on January 18.
Published: 21st January 2023 04:34 PM | Last Updated: 21st January 2023 04:37 PM | A+A A-
America’s top-ranked female tennis player and ranked third in the world, Jessica Pegula hails from a sporting dynasty of a different kind. Her father, billionaire Terry Pegula, and mother, Kim, sit at the head of a sports empire, co-owning the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, reports say.
Her father, worth around $6.7 billion, per Forbes estimates, made his fortune in oil and gas through the company, East Resources. After selling company assets, her parents bought the Sabres for $189 million in 2010 and the Bills for $1.4 billion in 2014, CNN reports.
The 28-year-old is off to a flying start in 2023, securing her first career victory over Iga Światek, beating the world No. 1 6-2 6-2 in the opening match of the United Cup semifinal in Sydney earlier this month, the report said.
And with the Australian Open in full swing, there could be even more success on the way for the American, who has reached the tournament’s quarterfinals the past two years. On Friday, Pegula comfortably won her third-round match against Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 6-0 6-2, CNN report added.
Pegula was wearing a white screen-printed patch with Hamlin’s (Buffalo Bills) uniform number on her black skirt while she competed at the Australian Open, AP reported on January 18.
Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the field when he collapsed after making a tackle during a game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. He spent more than a week in the hospital, part of that time in critical condition, before being able to go home.
“I definitely wanted to do something,” Pegula said Wednesday after reaching the third round at Melbourne Park with a 6-2, 7-6 (5) victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
“We were kind of figuring out what the Bills and the Sabres were doing, just as far as what was the message. I knew they would probably do something and what message were they trying to send. It ended up being kind of the ‘3’ was the symbol,” said Pegula, a 28-year-old who was born in New York and now is based in Florida.
“I just thought it would be cool to put on my outfit here. I thought it would be a fun way to kind of connect with the team and then also just show my support,” she said. “I felt like it was such a global event.”
Pegula reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open each of the past two years, equaling her best result at any Grand Slam tournament.
She is currently a career-best No. 3 in the rankings — a coincidence that drew some reactions Pegula found amusing.
“I saw someone tweet that: ‘Why would you put your ranking on your skirt?’ I’m, like, ‘No, that’s not why,’” Pegula said with a laugh.
She said she watched the Bills’ win over the Miami Dolphins in the wild-card round on TV before playing her first match in Melbourne. Buffalo’s next playoff game is Sunday against the visiting Bengals.
(With inputs from Associated Press)