Jessica Pegula has underlined that the WTA Players' Council definitely wants to "protect everyone as much as possible." Fiona Ferro, a 25-year-old French tennis player, alleges that she was raped and se*ually assaulted by ex-coach Pierre Bouteyre between 2012 and 2015, when she was aged 15 to 18.
After Victoria Azarenka heard about the Ferro case, she said that stuff like that "happens right and left on the Tour." Pegula, who is with Azarenka a member of the WTA Players' Council, was asked about the WTA Players' Council role in preventing coaches from manipulating and exploitating young players.
"Obviously we represent the players and we want to protect everyone as much as possible. I think someone like Vika [Azarenka] who has had so much experience and been on tour for so long she can definitely attest to maybe when she sees something that's not right or weird behavior or something like that.
I think from a player council point of view, we just want to put emphasis on that and want to put emphasis on what situations aren't right, has someone talked to this girl, to this coach? Does someone want to explain X, Y, Z, or why the situation looks so weird? I heard from a couple girls this happened," Pegula explained.
Pegula: We want to make sure young girls are protected
"I think shining a light on it earlier nowadays is much easier to do than it was maybe 20 years ago when things weren't as talked about and wasn't as open about things," Pegula added.
"I think it's a lot of little things of doing that. And we're very hope about that on the player council, and I think having experienced players, I think all of us are a little older as well so we, I think, get that protective mindset of seeing all the young girls come up and wanting to make sure they are protected in the best way." Meanwhile, Pegula defeated Petra Kvitova to reach the US Open quarterfinal. Pegula will be fighting first-seeded Iga Swiatek for a place in the US Open semifinal.