Jessica Pegula’s run at the US Open ends in a loss to No. 1 Iga Swiatek

The last American eliminated at the US Open.

And it took the world’s best player to end Jessica Pegula’s run at Flushing Meadows, a 6-3, 7-6 (4) quarterfinal win by Iga Swiatek at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday.

Eighth-ranked Pegula is the highest-ranking US player — male or female — and Buffalo’s latest hope of breaking its long-standing sporting bane. The Bills are 0-4 in Super Bowls, the Sabers are 0-2 in the Stanley Cup Finals. With Pegula’s father Terry owning both clubs, she looked like the perfect person to nab the city’s drought title.

Instead, Swiatek snapped her march a step away from the semifinals at the US Open. And for the third time in her career year, Pegula reached the quarterfinals of a Major only to get stuck.

“I go back and forth. I’m like, ‘Oh, I should be positive.’ But at the same time I’m like, fk, three quarterfinals? I’m sorry but it just sucks,” Pegula said. “It sucks and I wish I could have done it here at my home slam but I don’t think so.

“I’m feeling a little discouraged at the moment. I’m not really happy. It just sucks to lose. I only wish it had been different. But I’m sure I’ll wake up and see more positives.”

Iga Swiatek (left) celebrates after her 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over American Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
Iga Swiatek (left) celebrates after her 6-3, 7-6 (4) win over American Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
New York Post: Charles Wenzelberg (2)

This match was neither crisp nor of high quality. There were 13 breaks, including 10 in the second set of a dogfight alone. It was such an epidemic that it was more accurate to say they were on break than on serve.

Pegula upped her game after a collapse cost her the first set, but it wasn’t enough. Not against Swiatek, who had 37 straight wins earlier in the year and has now had eight straight wins over top 10 opponents in straight sets.

“I’m pretty proud of it because I feel like I’m playing better and better with every game,” Swiatek said. “Jessie was definitely a tough opponent. The second set was really close. We both fought to the last point. I’m proud of myself that I could be the one who could win the last race.”

In the semi-finals, Swiatek will meet Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus, who is sixth seeded.

While Pegula has been admirably consistent, her conservative game doesn’t sit well with the Pole as she lacks the one killer weapon to rely on.

Pegula had the first break to take a 3-2 lead in the first set, leading by 30 loves. But after Swiatek switched racquets, Pegula missed a volley and lost her momentum, dropping 16 of the last 18 points and losing the set 6-3.

“I realized I needed extra help from the racquet and the string itself,” Swiatek said.

“I missed that swing volley and who knows, if I had won that game it might have been a different set,” Pegula said. “She switched racquets and it helped. Her ball didn’t fly as much. I was used to her making mistakes.

“Then I literally started missing everything for the rest of the set. … I broke them, then just totally lost them, like every single bullet. It was definitely a big momentum shift.”

It was back and forth in the second set, with Swiatek arguing with the chair bump after being hit by a time violation in game five and Pegula being cautioned after a break to make it 4-3 after hitting the ball in frustration in the stands would have .

Swiatek had been good, then lucky with a net cord winner to take a 5-4 lead. And when Pegula hit her backhand wide after a rally, the Pole threw her racquet away and let out a victory cry. Meanwhile, Pegula’s loss is gone Frances Tiafoe as the last American star still in Flushing.

“He’s the last American standing. So proud of him,” Pegula said. “The way he takes care of the business has been really impressive. He’s super excited and ecstatic; such a good story about him. I just wish I could join him or Coco [Gauff] could join him. It was fun to have that feeling from everyone behind us as Americans in week two of the US Open. It was really something special.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.