Emma Raducanus conqueror Jessica Pegula feels nobody cares about her unlike with Brit

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Jessica Pegula has admitted that she feels nobody “cares” about her being the No 1 American following her win over Emma Raducanu at the Western & Southern Open. With her 7-5 6-4 win over the 19-year-old, the world No 8 booked a spot in her eighth WTA 1000 quarter-final since the start of 2021 – the most of anyone on tour.

Pegula has confessed to feeling “under the radar” in comparison to Raducanu following her victory over the US Open champion. The 28-year-old is through to yet another WTA 1000 quarter-final following her run to the last four in Toronto last week, where she also won the doubles title, but felt that fans thought she was “boring”.

“I feel like I am under the radar a little bit,” she confessed. “I feel like a lot of people don’t know me or don’t care that I’m the No 1-ranked American. ‘Oh, whatever. She’s kind of boring.’” Despite feeling under-appreciated, Pegula was still happy with her journey as she compared it to Raducanu’s breakout US Open win.

She continued: “But I kind of like it that way, as well. Listen, I know I’m not 18 and a phenom, and I know that I haven’t actually won any big titles yet — but I just think my journey was a lot different.

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“I hope it inspires people to know that even if maybe you are a little older, maybe people kind of think you missed your window or you are not really going to improve, that you can always improve and you can always get better.”

The world No 8 was happy to remain on the sidelines and focus on her game, while the likes of Raducanu famously attract heavy criticism for any early loss. “I think I’m just a perfect example of that. I don’t mind being under the radar. I don’t necessarily want extra attention,” Pegula said.

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“I’m fine with it. Yeah, I know my story is not the one people really want to root for. I’m kind of, like, ‘It’s fine.’ I will just be here and try to keep winning and doing my thing. Yeah, I think I like it that way.”

The top-ranked American will now face Carolina Garcia for a spot in her second-consecutive semi-final, which would also mark her career-best showing in Cincinnati.

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