The 29-year-old is one of the most consistent players on the WTA Tour, but sometimes, she just misses a bit to get over the big hurdle and win a Grand Slam. The same thing happened at the 2023 US Open, when she lost to fellow compatriot Madison Keys.
After the match, some reported that the American was crying, but she dismissed that during the press conference. Despite the singles heartbreak, Pegula became the doubles world no. 1 for the first time in her career, so she had at least something to be happy about.
However, after that, the American was forced to withdraw from the 2023 Guadalajara Open, where she was the defending champion. But now, Pegula is back on the tennis court, and she's back in style as she showed at the 2023 Japan Open, a WTA 500 tournament in Tokyo.
In the second round of the tournament, thanks to a bye in the first round, the second seed took on Cristina Bucsa, who won her first-round match against Japanese qualifier Rina Saigo in two sets.
But against Pegula, it was a completely different story. The American dominated in the first set, breaking her opponent's serve in her first two service games, and immediately establishing a massive 5-0 lead.
Bucsa was able to win one game on her serve, but Pegula served out the set, winning it 6-1. And she didn't stop there. The second highest-ranked American in the WTA Rankings started with a break also in the second set.
Once again, she added one more break of serve after that, and after an hour and three minutes, it was a comfortable win for Pegula, who triumphed 6-1, 6-2, and moved on to the quarterfinals of the 2023 Japan Open, where she awaits the winner of the match between the sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina from Russia and Despina Papamichail from Greece.