Pegula Announces New Team Members After Splitting With Long-Term Coach

Pegula Announces New Team Members After Splitting With Long-Term Coach

by Jordan Reynolds

Jessica Pegula has revealed two new members of her coaching team after ending her previous five-year partnership with her last coach.

The American has not competed since the Australian Open. That time away from the sport led to Pegula denying that she was pregnant after some speculation began that this was the case.

Last year's champion at the Canadian Open is making her comeback at the 2024 San Diego Open. In fact, Pegula is the No. 1 seed in the San Diego Open draw, although there are also many other great players competing at the event.

A few weeks ago, Pegula split with her coach David Witt. She made huge progress under Witt's guidance, and the decision surprised many, but it seems the six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist felt it was needed to try and take the next step.

Pegula was asked about her coaching situation in a press conference at the San Diego Open. She stated that she is currently working with two people, with one of these being well-known to tennis fans.

Pegula said that she is working with Mark Knowles. He is a four-time Grand Slam champion in doubles and mixed doubles and has worked for the Tennis Channel for many years since retiring.

"Right now I’m working in a combination with Mark Merklein and Mark Knowles. Both of them can’t travel full time so I am kind of in the process of trying to figure that out. But one is based in Boca which is really helpful as that is where I live."

Knowles also has much coaching experience. He has worked with former Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic, Mardy Fish, and Jack Sock. His extensive playing and coaching career makes him seem like a good fit.

"It’s been nice to have that set up. Mark Knowles is in Dallas so I have just spent a week there. It has been nice. I like having a collaborative setup where I feel like I can talk to multiple people and have different feedback."

The other new addition to Pegula's team is Mark Merklein. He was also a player in the 1990s and early 2000s, although he was not as successful as Knowles. Merklein has been a coach with the University of Florida for many years.

Pegula mentioned that neither man can travel with her all the time, and those are details they are still working out. She also said Merklein lives in the same area she does, while Knowles resides in Dallas.

Watching how Pegula plays after some time away from tennis and with a new coaching setup will be fascinating.


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