Pegula Dedicates Seoul Win To Korean-Born Mother In Emotional Tribute

Pegula Dedicates Seoul Win To Korean-Born Mother In Emotional Tribute

by Nurein Ahmed

Jessica Pegula lauded her title win at the Korea Open as "extra special" in a country and city that forms an intriguing part of her family's backstory.

The top-seeded Pegula played near-faultless tennis all week to capture her second title of the season at the low-key WTA 250 tournament. She defeated China's first-time finalist Yue Yuan, winning 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 25 minutes.

With most of her closest competitors taking a rare week off from the rigors of traveling and competition in order to prepare for the WTA Finals, Pegula shocked the tennis world by embarking on her second trip to Seoul. But it was in the aftermath of her title success that fans would resonate with Pegula's decision to play there.

South Korea is her mother's birth country. Sadly, her mother was abandoned by her own family at the age of five in Seoul, and didn't have any recollection of her birth name when she was dropped at a Korean police station. She would be adopted by an American couple and flown to New York.

Pegula gave a brief but chilling experience that her mother went through. She dedicated her win on Sunday to her mom (Kim Pegula). Her mother had been fighting for her life last June after suffering a cardiac arrest. And it now makes complete sense, how the Korea Open ranked so highly in Pegula's tournament schedule this season, and it certainly had a scriptwriter's perfect ending.

"This one is extra special. I am half Korean. I don't speak Korean and I'm still learning about my culture (my mom was adopted and left on the doorstep of a Korean police station) but I have been overwhelmed by the support from Korean fans."

Pegula dedicated Seoul win to her mother in an Instagram post

"My mom visited her orphanage here when I played this event 4 years ago. It was the first time she felt open about learning about her past. Her health struggles the past year made this tournament a goal to win. It has been such an honor to play in front of you."


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