World No. 14 Jessica Pegula gave credit to the Ukrainian team for competing extremely well this weekend as she was glad the American team managed to clinch a victory and seal a Billie Jean King Cup Finals spot. The American team had a 2-0 lead after the opening day as Pegula defeated Katarina Zavatska, while Alison Riske defeated Dayana Yastremska.
However, the Ukrainian team refused to quit as Yastremska beat Pegula, before Zavatska defeated Shelby Rogers to force a deciding rubber. In the decisive rubber, Pegula and Asia Muhammad defeated Yastremska and Lyudmyla Kichenok to help the United States clinch a ticket for the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.
"What a week…hard fought win over the amazing Ukrainian team who pushed us to the very end. Clinching the win in a doubles tie. Both teams leaving it all out there that ended with us singing karaoke together at the end of the night," Pegula tweeted.
What a week…hard fought win over the amazing Ukrainian team who pushed us to the very end. Clinching the win in a doubles tie. Both teams leaving it all out there that ended with us singing karaoke together at the end of the night 🤣 🇺🇸 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/iBHr8VPMIC — Jessie Pegula (@JLPegula) April 17, 2022
Rivals on the court but friends off the court
The tennis community aims to raise more than $1 million for Ukraine relief.
More than $225,000 was generated onjunction with this weekend's tie between the United States and Ukraine. "The tennis community, it's just incredible. As I've always said, we're a family. We really are one big family, a close-knit family.
When things get tough, and we know the last few years have been really tough with the pandemic and now with Ukraine, we really unite, we come together, do what's right, do what's best. We really look after each other," US captain Kathy Rinaldi said following the tie.
"As I told the Ukrainian players when they arrived at our dinner, these players, whenever I reached out to them, it's the first thing they asked: 'What can we do?' It was first and foremost on our minds to make them feel supported.
"The money that they've raised has been incredible. As I told the Ukrainian players, No one should have to worry alone. That was our motto when we were going through the pandemic with our players: Nobody should have to worry alone, we're in this together."