Perfectionist Jessica Pegula says she can beat anybody
MELBOURNE – Jessica Pegula is oozing confidence at the Australian Open with the belief that she can beat anybody but the American third seed said being a perfectionist meant she would still pick holes in her game after Friday’s thumping win.
Pegula cruised into the fourth round with a 6-0 6-2 win over Marta Kostyuk after similarly impressive straight-sets victories against Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Jaqueline Cristian earlier in the week to stay on course to claim her maiden Grand Slam crown.
She also dismantled top-ranked Iga Swiatek — the favorite at the year’s first Grand Slam — and left the Pole in a flood of tears during the season-opening United Cup mixed team tournament which the Americans won.
“I definitely played very well against Iga,” Pegula told reporters. “I’ve also played a lot of great matches this week, as well. I’ve backed up my level. I think I can beat anybody.
“But again, in the moment, under pressure, with nerves, on a different stage, depending on the conditions that day or how they’re playing as well, that can always change and shift throughout a match.
“But, yeah, I feel very confident that my game is at a very, very high level right now.”
A quarter-finalist in the last two years, Pegula said there were still some aspects to her game that she needed to improve on despite a convincing win to set up a meeting with former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova.
“I’m kind of a perfectionist,” she explained. “Even today, I was annoyed. I didn’t think I served very well. I had that game to go up 5-1. I was up 30-0. I missed a couple of first serves.
“I don’t have a problem analyzing my game. Usually, I’m trying to do the opposite because I can over-analyze and be kind of a perfectionist in that way.
“As far as how I’m playing, I’m definitely playing a lot better than I was last year here. I think I just got better in the off-season as well. We worked on a couple things.
“Sometimes it’s hard to really say that because it’s such a short off-season, it’s like how much can you really improve. At the same time, I did pretty well last year.”
All business Iga Swiatek eases into second week at Australian Open
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