The tennis star will face off against fellow American Jennifer Brady next

By Eric Todisco
February 15, 2021 01:37 PM
Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula
| Credit: Quinn Rooney/Getty

American tennis star Jessica Pegula has advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2021 Australian Open.

On Monday, Pegula, 26, defeated No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine at Rod Laver Arena. After losing the second set and being down 30-0 in the final set, Pegula— who is ranked 61st — recovered and ultimately won, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, according to USA Today and Yahoo! Sports.

Pegula has now won her first four matches in the Open. In an earlier round, she defeated two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka. Pegula has never previously advanced beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament.

The Buffalo Bills — the NFL team owned by Pegula's parents, Terry and Kim Pegula, since 2014 — celebrated the tennis star's victory on Twitter, writing, "LE'S GOOOOO @JLPeulga ❗❗." Pegula's family also owns NHL team the Buffalo Sabres.

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula
| Credit: Phil Walter/Getty

Pegula will next face off against fellow American and No. 22 seed Jennifer Brady, who defeated Croatia's Donna Vekic on Monday. The pair, along with Serena Williams, are the three American women to advance to the quarterfinals this year.

They are each just three wins away from securing the Australian Open women's singles crown.

"I hope we can all push through," Pegula told reporters after her win. "It would be us and Serena in the quarterfinals which was pretty cool to see for all of us. But the last year or so, we've all really pushed each other. Maybe we haven't said it to each other, but I think we can all feel it."

Jessica Pegula
Jessica Pegula
| Credit: Rob Carr/Getty

On the men's side, No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal defeated Italy's Fabio Fognini on Monday, while Daniil Medvedev beat American Mackenzie McDonald. Nadal will next face off against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Wednesday, while Medvedev will play Audrey Rublev.

Last year's Australian Open was won by Novak Djokovic — who also made it to the 2021 quarterfinals — in the men's singles and Sofia Kenin in the women's singles.