Although both women are ranked inside the top 10, tennis star Jessica Pegula doesn’t believe there is a competition between herself and compatriot Coco Gauff in being the new face of American women’s tennis.
Gauff and Pegula have both taken the WTA circuit by storm, producing extremely consistent results this year with Gauff even winning her maiden Grand Slam at the 2023 US Open. Both ladies qualified for the year-ending WTA Finals tournament, and are even paired together in the doubles event.
During a press conference at the WTA Finals in Paris, Pegula was asked if there was a battle with Gauff to be the next American star.
“How do you see the present & future of American women’s tennis?” asked a reporter. “Because you & Coco are here. Serena retired not long ago. Do you feel kind of pressure to be the new American star? Or how do you see this year & this kind of battle with Coco?”
“No I don’t because I’m 10 years older,” replied Pegula. “I’m definitely not going to be playing as long as she’s going to be playing. And she’s already won the US Open, so I think she’s got that battle won. I definitely don’t think there’s competition there. Again, comparing to Serena’s a big feat. I don’t think anyone is like Serena. I think Serena’s her own person. I think she’s the GOAT, or whatever you want to say. So I don’t think it’s possible to fill those shoes probably ever (smiles).
“But I think Coco is the present & the future. I think she’s still gonna have a long ways to grow & get better in the sport. As long as she’s healthy & she’s competing, she’s gonna be battling for titles for many more years to come. Much more years than me. So I don’t consider myself that person, I guess. But I’m happy to represent American tennis.”