Following her triumph at the Hana Bank Korea Open, fourth-ranked player Jessica Pegula posted a heartfelt message on her social media platform, X, revealing her inspiration for winning the tournament.

She wrote in the message that, as a half-Korean woman, this victory was especially meaningful to her. She also mentioned that her mother is presently battling health issues, which is why she made it her goal to win the tournament in honor of her mother.

The post reads, “This one is extra special. I am half Korean. I don’t speak and I am still learning about my culture (my mom was adopted and left on a doorstep of a Korean police station) but I have been overwhelmed by the support from Korean fans. 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. 감사합니다 🙏🏼”

What Pegula’s victory means

Pegula triumphed in a spectacular final match, defeating Yuan Yue in a dominant 6-2 6-3 victory after almost an hour and a half of play.

With her remarkable stint and victory at the Korea Open, Pegula became the second American tennis player to win the Korea Open after Serena Williams in 2007, according to ESPN. In addition, this also marks Pegula’s fourth title in her career and her second one this season.

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At the awards ceremony, Pegula, in her speech, took the chance to reveal her roots, beginning with “For those that don’t know, I’m half Korean.”

She then shared that although she doesn’t speak their language, she loves Korean BBQ and kimchi, a food that’s hailed as a symbol of Korean identity and pride.

“In the last few years, as my ranking has gone up, I’ve definitely felt so much more support from the fans, a lot more than I expected coming back here from five years ago. So, it’s really special. So thank you guys so much for coming out. I hope you can come next year and support me and all the other girls as well. It’ll be a lot of fun,” Pegula continued.

Montreal Open

Last August, Pegula also made a splash on the news when she defeated Russian player Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 in the final and clinched the Montreal Open title, following Serena Williams’ footsteps and becoming the first U.S. player to win the tournament in Canada since 2013.

“We’re out on tour to win tournaments and to win titles every single week, but tennis can be really tough where you sometimes lose a lot,” Pegula said, as per the WTA tour. “Even when you’re winning a lot of matches, you’re still not winning tournaments, so it can get tough.

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The photo above is from a YouTube screengrab

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