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‘Came Back as a New Person’- 28-Year-Old Ukrainian Gets Jessica Pegula’s Respect After the American’s Monumental Win in Washington

Elina Svitolina returned to tennis with Charleston Open after being on a hiatus for 14 months. She has been receiving praise from all over the world and her fellow players for her incredible run, just months after giving birth to a baby. Svitolina reached the quarter-final of the French Open and the semi-final of the Wimbledon Championships right after she returned from her maternity leave. It took only six tournaments for the Ukrainian to find her formidable form. One player, Jessica Pegula, was left, in awe.

 

 

From the Strasbourg Open to the recent Citi Open, the 2023 Wimbledon semi-finalist reached the playoffs of four tournaments. But Jessica Pegula halted her spirited run in D.C. However, the latter was empathetic, revealing her understanding of the Ukrainian’s performance given the war and additional responsibilities as a new mother.
Jessica Pegula validates Svitolina’s top-notch performances despite tough times

 

 

In the quarterfinal of the Citi Open, the new mommy lost to the American 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. This was the duo’s fourth head-to-head, with Pegula securing more wins. In the post-match interview, the American shared her feelings about the Ukrainian and said, “I have tons of respect for her; she just had a baby, everything she’s going through with her country. I told her that she came back as a new person.”

 

 

Svitolina made her comeback amid the ongoing war and played against Russians, which wasn’t easy for her. Former 2nd seed Pegula elaborated, “You can see the competitiveness in her, and I’ve always really respected that about her. She was one of my first big wins when I broke through a couple of years ago, and to beat someone as tough as her gave me a lot of confidence.”

Pegula also shared that she respects the competitiveness and attitude shown by Svitolina. With her recent win, the 29-year-old improved her singles ranking and made it again to her career-high achievement. The win did not come easily for the 6-time Major quarter-finalist as she visibly struggled due to the weather.

Pegula advanced to 3rd position after a tiresome physical win

A match that lasted for more than two hours demanded the best physical endurance from both players. Pegula sweated through her entire kit and said that she exhausted herself when the match was about to end. She told herself that if she didn’t serve right, the match would be out of her hands, as Svitolina was not far behind.

What Pegula thought, she executed. She grabbed the win despite the physically torturous humid weather. She aced past Elena Rybakina to claim her 3rd rank again. The 2022 Citi Open doubles winner will now play Maria Sakkari in her semi-finals. Will Pegula claim the singles title to Citi Open this year?

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