Gauff & Pegula Set For Doubles Rankings Slide After Australian Open Doubles Withdrawal

Gauff & Pegula Set For Doubles Rankings Slide After Australian Open Doubles Withdrawal

by Nurein Ahmed

Coco Gauff and compatriot Jessica Pegula are considered two of the most formidable duos on the doubles court but now must face an imminent rankings slide.

While that scenario sounds surprising after they were co-ranked as the No. 1 doubles team in September 2023, they haven't won a match since a quarterfinal defeat at the US Open last year.

They ended the year on a five-match losing streak, including a group-stage exit at the WTA Finals, where they finished with a 0-3 record in the doubles tournament. This season, the pair haven't played together in doubles.

Gauff and Pegula were in different countries at the start of 2024. The 19-year-old was in Auckland, New Zealand, to kick off the new season by jumping from the Sky Tower. She would complete her title defense in the same city a few days later.

Meanwhile, Pegula was in Perth, Australia, to lead the USA's title defense of the United Cup. Unfortunately, the 29-year-old Buffalo native was far from her free-flowing best as the defending champions were eliminated in the group stage.

The two players' schedules differed, with Gauff taking a break from competition in the week leading to the Australian Open. Pegula aimed to get more matches under her belt and played at the star-studded WTA 500 tournament in Adelaide.

The World No. 5 managed to put a couple of wins on the board but withdrew prior to her semifinal showdown against Daria Kasatkina due to illness. Pegula chose to head to Melbourne to recover and play the first Grand Slam of 2024.

However, the consistent American was clearly not at 100% as she lost in the second round in singles in Melbourne, which turned out to be her earliest Grand Slam exit since 2021 Wimbledon.

Gauff and Pegula were the top-seeded pair in doubles at the 2024 Australian Open but withdrew from the tournament. The reason for their withdrawal was not disclosed, but Gauff clarified that it was her experienced compatriot who made the decisive call, presumably feeling unwell.

"Unfortunately Jess (Pegula) couldn't play doubles, so there's been no doubles for me. It's a different tournament for me I feel like."

They were defending semifinal points from last year's doubles tournament. Having entered the 2024 edition ranked third in the WTA standings, they will drop to seventh when the new rankings are released on Monday, as they both have the same number of points.


You may also like