After a stellar 2023 season, US fifth-ranked tennis player Jessica Pegula has been named to the Forbes “Forber 30 Under 30” list. 

Every year, a variety of industries’ most distinguished people under 30 are honored on this list. And as the sole tennis player featured on Forbes’ esteemed roster, Pegula’s achievement instilled pride in the tennis community.

Pegula’s rise

While some undermined Pegula’s abilities and skills on court because of her wealthy upbringing, the tennis star dismissed any of their reservations as she slowly but surely rose through the rankings over the years. 

She finished the last two seasons inside the Top 5 of the WTA Rankings, having climbed from year-end No. 62 in 2020 to No. 18 in 2021, as per WTA.

Interview with Forbes

In an interview with Forbes, she finally addressed those who questioned her abilities based on her affluent background, saying, “I think everyone who knows sports or is an athlete, or is highly competitive or made it very far knows you’re not gonna get there unless you work hard and are talented and are really driven to get there. It’s really difficult.”

The interview lasted for 24 minutes and touched on everything from her time on the court to her experiences off the court. But at one point, they got around to discussing Pegula’s love for the sport.

Asked about what she loved about tennis, Pegula answered that she loved the ‘individuality of it’ and that she takes pride in knowing that not a lot of sports are like that. She further said that it was fun getting to say that she is an ‘individual athlete’ and that everything boils down to her in really tough moments.

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“I’ve always just taken pride in being able to be that specific kind of athlete and I think that’s what I’ve just loved most about it. I mean it sucks when you lose, cause it’s all on you. But when you win you know you’re the one that got yourself through a really tough moment or a tough match and that to me is like the best feeling,” Pegula said.

Pegula’s 2023 accomplishments

This year, Pegula finished her campaign with a bang, having won two singles titles at the Omnium Banque Nationale présenté par Rogers (Montreal Open) in August and the Hana Bank Korea Open in October. She also finished as a runner-up in the WTA finals.

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