The semifinal match at the WTA 1000 event was a pretty great match when it comes to excitement and twists and turns. It was a pretty good watch, though, the quality of the play was mostly so-so. Swiatek didn't play well, and Pegula only played slightly better, and that proved enough.
In a match where Swiatek was broken 11 times and Pegula 8, this seems like a minor thing but it wasn't. It was a pretty big deal. At 4-3 in the second-set tie-break, Pegula was on the verge of winning the point and going up 5-3 but Joe intervened.
Joe who? Cotton Eye Joe, of course. The iconic song started blasting from the speakers in the middle of the rally prompting the umpire to call let immediately. Everybody was stunned by the developments though quite a few people cracked a smile as well.
Why was it significant? Well, it kind of robbed Pegula of a very crucial point as she admitted afterward. It also obviously messed up her focus as he didn't win a single point in the tiebreak since then. She lost the second set sending the match into a decider.
"I just thought it was funny. I've never had that happen, let alone with "Cotton-Eyed Joe." I was, like, is this really happening right now? Of all the songs. It was just, like, what is going on? Yeah, it was a bummer because I hit a really good lob, and she barely got it, and I had a really good play on the ball, and she was kind of out of position from the lob that I hit."
Despite that, the American stayed resilient, knowing she had a very erratic Swiatek on the other side of the net. Even when she was down 0-2 and 2-4 she kept pushing and got rewarded in the end. She won the match in three sets to book the final.
Perhaps she'll celebrate the win by playing Cotton Eye Joe in the locker room. We don't know, but if you look below you'll see the video of that moment. It's a pretty funny one.