Jessica Pegula showed major class and appreciation for Iga Swiatek after a brutal defeat at the WTA Finals, revealing that the Pole's presence has actually made her a better player. On Monday in Cancun, Swiatek dismantled Pegula 6-1 6-0 in the final at the WTA Finals.
After suffering four straight-set defeats to Swiatek last year, Pegula went 2-2 in her four matches against the Pole this year. Despite the heavy final loss, it doesn't change the fact that 29-year-old Pegula has established herself as one of the best players on the WTA Tour over the last two years.
"First I just want to say congrats to Iga and your team and your family on an amazing year. Ending the year No 1, winning this tournament, it's really incredible. You know, you continue to push me to be a better player every single year, or at least, you haven't been on tour that long but so far since you've been on tour, and it really makes me a much better player and I really appreciate that aspect of it.
Of course I wish I could've done better today but that's not how it goes sometimes, so congrats and all the best, have a nice off-season and a good next year," Pegula told Swiatek during the trophy ceremony.
Pegula fails to beat Swiatek for the third time in 2023
Pegula won the first meeting against Swiatek in 2019 before the Pole won all of their four meetings in 2022.
This year, Pegula beat Swiatek at the United Cup and Montreal, while the Pole ended on the winning side against the American in Doha and Cancun. Pegula maybe didn't manage to win her first WTA Finals title in Cancun but she still had a great 2023 season.
This year, Pegula won her second WTA 1000 title in Montreal and she also claimed a WTA 250 tournament in Seoul. Also, Pegula will finish the year ranked at No 5 in the world. Pegula will now take some time to recharge and rest ahead of the 2024 season.