- The Washington Times - Monday, February 15, 2021

Jessica Pegula, an unseeded American at the Australian Open, continued her strong run in the tournament with another upset.

Pegula opened the Australian Open with a victory over No. 12 seed Victoria Azarenka. And then on Monday, Pegula won her fourth straight match, knocking off No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina. Pegula advanced to the quarterfinal round, the furthest she’s ever gone in a Grand Slam tournament.

Against Svitolina, Pegula won the first set and dropped the second before securing the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win — her first career victory over a top-10 ranked opponent.

“I can’t get more confident,” Pegula said (via WTA). “It is my best result yet and I’m playing good tennis and today was a hard-fought win, so, yeah, I’m feeling pretty good.”

The 26-year-old is the No. 61 ranked women’s singles player in the world, and her lone singles tournament title came at the 2019 Citi Open in the District. Pegula’s success at the Australian Open ensures there will be at least one American in the semifinal round. Pegula will face Jennifer Brady in the quarterfinal, the No. 24-ranked player in the world.

Elsewhere in the quarterfinal, No. 10 seed Serena Williams faces Romanian Simona Halep, the No. 2-ranked player worldwide. Brady or Pegula will face either No. 1 seed Ashleigh Barty or No. 25 seed Karolina Muchova in the semifinal round.

Pegula is the daughter of Bills owners Terry and Kim Pegula, and her win Monday drew an excited response from Buffalo.

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