Jessica Pegula identifies the players to beat on the WTA Tour

Jessica Pegula in action
Jessica Pegula

Jessica Pegula has identified who the players to beat are for this current season on the WTA Tour.

Pegula has been a consistent performer on the tour but she acknowledged that she needs to raise her game to beat the best.

She will face Elena Rybakina in the Miami Open semi-final and feels that she is taking on a dangerous elite player.

Pegula identified Rybakina and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka as the players to beat this season.

“I think she and [Aryna] Sabalenka are the ones to beat right now,” Pegula said of Rybakina, “so it’s going to be a great test and a deserved semi for a tournament like this.”

Pegula is desperate to take her game to the next level and win a Grand Slam.

“I would definitely like to go further in a Slam or just start winning more tournaments,” she said. “It’s kind of a little bit of everything, the margins become very small. At the same time you don’t need to change your game, but I think just fine-tuning things.”

Pegula has admitted that she needs to improve but there are plenty who feel that she in on an upward arc.

Big-serving Pole Magda Linette assessed Pegula as one of the most underrated players on the WTA Tour.

“She doesn’t have spectacular strength or she doesn’t do much fuss about whatever she’s doing, she’s not screaming,” said Magda Linette, who was knocked out by Pegula in the Round of 16.

“But the timing that she has, the easiness that she’s hitting with, and the power that she can generate just because of how well she times the ball, it’s special. I find her extremely talented and really smart on court. You can see she reads the game, she knows what she’s doing and she trusts her shots. I don’t think she gets the credit that she really deserves.”

Pegula feels that she has two main areas where she can continue to improve.

She hopes to build a bigger serve and says that she is working hard on improving her movement on court.

“I’ve definitely been serving I think a little bit bigger,” Pegula said.
“Getting some more free points on my serve always helps.

“Because I’m not the most natural mover — not like a Coco or Iga. I’m always working on that.

“Against the bigger hitters, I’ve got to be able to take my chances and move forward,” Pegula said.

“Then just working on implementing little things in my game and still trying to play aggressive.”

READ MORE: Jessica Pegula saves match points to beat ‘fearless’ Anastasia Potapova, up next the in-form Elena Rybakina