Pegula Retains Her Top 5 Spot After Applying For Special Exempt Following Drop

Pegula Retains Her Top 5 Spot After Applying For Special Exempt Following Drop

by Nurein Ahmed

Jessica Pegula's stay in the top five will continue despite her long absence from this year's clay-court swing, during which she only played one tournament.

For over 100 consecutive weeks, Pegula has been ranked in the world's Top 10, with 89 of those weeks spent in the Top 5. But following the conclusion of Roland Garros, she was expected to drop to sixth as of June 10th, with Marketa Vondrousova moving up a spot into fifth.

But for a special rule, the American has retained her spot for a 90th week in the Top 5. The 30-year-old played her last match on the WTA Tour on April 6th, losing to Daria Kasatkina in the semifinals of the Charleston Open.

She withdrew from the remainder of the clay season in Europe, including the French Open, because of injury, only to return at the start of the grass-court season in Den Bosch, where she picked up a confidence-boosting first-round win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

According to the WTA rulebook, players are entitled to apply for a Long-Term Injury exemption in the event they will be absent from competing on the Tour for a minimum period of eight consecutive weeks, as was the case with Pegula.

After the French Open, her points totaled 4420. Vondrousova, meanwhile, had 4503 by virtue of reaching the quarterfinal, where she lost to eventual champion Iga Swiatek.

However, because Pegula applied for the aforementioned exemption, she was not required to count the 0 points she received from the WTA 1000 mandatory tournaments, in this case, the Madrid Open and the Italian Open in Rome.

That freed up two of her previous non-countable results from the last 52 weeks from Eastbourne and Cincinnati, totaling 205 points. When added to her points tally of 4420, it equals 4625 and remains above the Czech lefty.

The six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist will look to extend the gap between herself and Vondrousova this week at the Libema Open after booking a spot in the second round.


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