Jessica Pegula bemoans bad luck after getting food poisoning from first Paris dinner

United Cup

Jessica Pegula feels that she has missed out on the full Paris experience after coming down with an illness shortly after arriving in the city.

Pegula said that she was still feeling the effects of the food poisoning suffered from her first Paris dinner when she kicked off her French Open campaign against Danielle Collins.

She said that she managed to get through the match despite feeling ill throughout.

“Coming into this week’s French Open, my preparations were completely thrown by getting food poisoning on my first night and first dinner in Paris,” Pegula wrote in a column for BBC Sport.

“What horrendous luck – I haven’t gone out to a restaurant since because I’ve been too afraid to eat there.

“I don’t know exactly what did the damage. I had escargots – I love escargots – but everyone else in my group had them. I also had salmon so maybe it was a bad piece of fish.

“I was throwing up for the whole night and I couldn’t sleep much.

“That was after I arrived in Paris on Tuesday, I didn’t practise on Wednesday, I practised on Thursday – but it was not pretty. I could barely do anything.

“I was getting a lot of nausea and acid reflux, I wasn’t eating. I was afraid to eat anything. I didn’t have an appetite.

“It lingered for four or five days but I wasn’t able to just sit in bed, I had a bunch of stuff to do.

“Whatever I had scheduled, like the media day for example, I needed to get through it as quickly as possible. I was like, ‘Sorry I’m not in a good mood but I need to get through it’ .

“I was a zombie for two days.

“I still practised because I wanted to hit and get a feel, but I wasn’t pushing myself too hard. I didn’t want to be totally running myself down when my immune system was shot.

“On Friday I was thinking, ‘I’m supposed to be playing on Sunday and how am I going to play? I feel horrible and I’ve practised once’.

“Also, going into the first round of a Grand Slam you have nerves anyway and feel a little uneasy.

“The good thing was I felt I was playing OK, but just not feeling physically good. Still, I didn’t feel happy or prepared.

She added: “I had to try and turn it into a positive, which was by really focusing on me. I was like, ‘right I need to get through this match’ because I knew I had two days off after to recover.

“That was my motivation: to walk in, get through, be super focused and hope for the best. Actually I played a decent match against Danielle [Collins], who is someone I know well and is a great player.

“Luckily I came around by the weekend, caught up on sleep and got some good practice in. Now I’m feeling a lot better and ready to go.”

READ MORE: How Jessica Pegula beats the grind of the WTA Tour