Jessica Pegula was in tears as she left Arthur Ashe Stadium following a disappointing defeat to good friend Madison Keys. The third seed was one of the favourites to win the US Open after picking up the Canadian Open title in the lead-up to the tournament. But Pegula lasted just 61 minutes on the court as she crashed out in the fourth round.
Pegula’s US Open run came to a damp end on Monday as she suffered a one-sided loss at the hands of countrywoman Keys. A former finalised in Flushing Meadows, the 17th seed fired down 21 winners compared to just six from Pegula as she came through 6-1 6-3.
With the roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium closed, the world No 3 struggled as the opening set went by in a flash. Keys got an early break in the second set but Pegula showed signs of a potential comeback when she broke to draw level at 3-3.
Just when things looked to be spicing up, Pegula’s level dropped again as the 2017 runner-up produced a sublime performance, winning the last three games in a row to send the third seed packing. And it was a tough loss for the top-ranked American to take, as she was in tears while walking off of the court.
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Pegula had dropped just one set coming into the match, as she defeated Elina Svitolina 6-4 4-6 6-2 in the third round. Across her first two matches, the American lost just eight games. But she couldn’t find the same level against Keys as her North American hard-court summer came to a discouraging end.
The 29-year-old was 11-2 for the hard-court swing before losing to Keys. She reached the semi-final in Washington, won the title in Canada and crashed out in her second match at the Cincinnati Open before heading to Flushing Meadows and winning her first three rounds.
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It means that Pegula will be made to wait for her long-awaited first Grand Slam title. The world No 3 has never been beyond the quarter-final at a Major before – reaching that stage six times since the start of 2021.
And the American won’t even have a chance to try and break her hoodoo of last-eight defeats as she failed to get that far in New York. Pegula is still alive in both the women’s doubles and mixed doubles, however, partnering with Coco Gauff and Austin Krajicek.
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