Players of the Hologic WTA Tour are sending their love and support to Jessica Pegula and her family in light of the recent revelations she made about her mother’s health.
The World No.4 penned a heartfelt essay for The Players’ Tribune, in which she detailed the difficult times she and her family have been going through since her mother Kim went into cardiac arrest last June, which resulted in a brain injury.
A Top 5 player in both singles and doubles, Pegula has always been a highly respected individual on tour, and her peers wanted to make sure she was aware of that as they offered words of support for her during the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open.
Daria Kasatkina hailed Pegula’s work ethic and described her as a “very good role model for the kids.”
“Honestly I respect Jessica so much,” Kasatkina said.
“Of course nobody knew about all this situation, so my respect was built on the fact that she is playing all the tournaments, she is winning three-hour matches in the heat then goes to practice straightaway, she is working in the gym alone without a fitness coach. It’s insane, it’s insane."
Pegula wrote in her essay how she continued competing because she knew it is what her mother wanted and she drew strength from her mother’s resilience. She finished the 2022 season as the highest-ranked American, at a career-high No.3.
It felt like it was time. Thank you to @PlayersTribune for sharing this story ♥️ https://t.co/dUxiUHaFuk— Jessie Pegula (@JLPegula) February 7, 2023
“I don’t know her that closely but just seeing her around almost every day, I couldn’t recognize that something that serious was going on and I’m not sure if I could have been able to travel playing in these circumstances and she just kept it going like a big boss,” Kasatkina said.
Abu Dhabi winner Belinda Bencic shared Kasatkina’s sentiments and expressed her admiration for Pegula’s character.
“I had no idea this was happening at all, which just shows how incredibly strong Jess is,” Bencic said.
“I was always admiring her in a way, because I admire how she is. She is just so calm, just traveling with her coach and really low-key, just doing her thing, doing her job and that’s it, not caring about anything else.
"I didn’t know that this was happening to her and I cannot imagine this would be happening to me, with my mom, and how I would not be able to deal with this situation. So how she’s been able to deal with this situation is really incredible."
The tennis community at large has rallied behind the Pegulas, with many taking to social media to offer their support, including Victoria Azarenka, Chris Evert and Tracy Austin.
Jess ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/aoNdKriphd— victoria azarenka (@vika7) February 7, 2023
Zina Garrison responded to Pegula’s essay by saying: “Beautiful article and the true heart of a strong tennis player. Thank you for sharing your story. Jess, this will help so many lives. Praying for you and your family.”
Miami Open tournament director and former ATP No.4 James Blake wrote: “Thank you for sharing this. You and your family are truly remarkable.”
Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking and heartwarming story, Jessie. Your mother is incredible and resilient. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way…🙏🙏🙏❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/WlAx48UPdU— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) February 8, 2023
Thank you for sharing.🙌You are incredibly strong and brave. Praying for your mom’s recovery ❤️ https://t.co/bs5kaFeSPX— Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) February 7, 2023
Heartfelt and touching a reminder to us all how complicated life is @JLPegula incredibly brave and triumphant ❤️to your mom and family https://t.co/KYjh9PzIQo— Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) February 8, 2023
Before concluding her “Players’ Tribune” piece by thanking everyone for their support, Pegula wrote this:
“It has been a tough year but at the same time I feel lucky and blessed. I am thankful she is still with us when other families may not have been so lucky. That she even had a chance at recovery when the first week in the hospital seemed so dim.
"Thankful for the doctors that aided in her recovery. Thankful that she is now home, that she gets to watch the Bills, Sabres, and my tennis matches. She never watched my matches before, because she got too nervous. Now she watches all of them.”