'People Don't Seem To Think I Hit Hard': Pegula On Her Shotmaking Ability

'People Don't Seem To Think I Hit Hard': Pegula On Her Shotmaking Ability

by Nurein Ahmed

Jessica Pegula might have opened up to tennis fans about her newest moniker, and it has nothing to do with her name, but her unheeded shotmaking strength - a "big hitter".

Pegula set the record straight following her majestic straight sets dissection of World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka and became the first player to qualify for the semifinals of the 2023 WTA Finals in Cancun. Pegula's record against Top 10 players this year is an impressive 7-4.

Pegula finished the match with 12 winners and created as many as 14 break points, converting five. The American's performance garnered widespread praise in light of a thorough assessment of Pegula's ground game.

Pegula usually dominates matches due to her defensive discipline and creative shotmaking. But Tennis Channel commentators and match analysts informed viewers that she was actually out-hitting Sabalenka in terms of speed off both wings during the match.

The 29-year-old reiterated her point that she's always been a hard hitter and is amazed when commentators say otherwise. Speaking to the Tennis Channel desk after the match, Pegula noted that because she doesn't grunt, people mistake her shots as not being "physical".

"I hit really hard! People don’t seem to think I hit hard, like commentators. No, seriously! I don’t know why they say that. I think it’s because it looks like I’m not. I hit flatter, I don’t hit as heavy as Aryna, but I hit hard. I don’t get that…I don’t grunt, I’m not super physical, so I think that’s why it doesn’t seem like it. But I hit pretty hard!"

Pegula will play her last group stage match on Thursday evening against Maria Sakkari (already eliminated) knowing that she's already qualified. This could be a nice way to test and improvise her shots ahead of the semifinal.

Her performances this week are a marked improvement to last year when she failed to win a single match in Fort Worth, Texas. She also extends her unbeaten run in Mexico to seven matches having won Guadalajara 1000 last year.


You may also like