Jessica Pegula recounts her mother being Korean orphan after winning Seoul title

Pegula came to Seoul determined to win the title.

by Dzevad Mesic
Jessica Pegula recounts her mother being Korean orphan after winning Seoul title
© Getty Images Sport - Chung Sung-Jun

Jessica Pegula recounted her mother being adopted in South Korea after capturing an "extra special" Seoul title. On Sunday, No 1 seed Pegula ousted China's Yuan Yue 6-2 6-3 in the Seoul final. Pegula, who was born in the United States and represents the States, is half Korean.

When Pegula's mother Kim was a toddler, she was left in front of a Korean police station. Kim Pegula - who was born in Seoul - spent some time in an orphanage before a Canadian family that moved to New York state adopted her when she was five.

In 2019, Pegula and her mother Kim visited the same orphanage in Seoul where she was once staying. This year, Pegula wasn't accompanied by her mother in Seoul. Last year, Kim Pegula suffered a cardiac arrest and she is still recovering.

"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," Pegula wrote on X.

Pegula dedicated her Seoul title to her mother

In the first set, Yuan was 2-1 up before Pegula claimed back-to-back breaks and won the next five games to seal the first set in style.

After winning the first set, Pegula also started the second set with back-to-back breaks and a 3-0 lead. In the rest of the set, Pegula got twice broken but she also broke Yuan two more times. In the end, it was enough for Pegula to complete a routine straight-set win.

In their first meeting at the 2022 US Open, Pegula also claimed a 6-2 6-7 (6) 6-0 win over Yuan. "Last time we played was a battle and this one was as well. You're really talented and I told you your ranking is going to go up. You told me it's your first final but I'm sure there will be many more," Pegula told Yuan after the Seoul final.

Jessica Pegula