Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (2024)

Jessica Pegula is an American tennis player. She won her first WTA Tour title in 2019 at the Washington Open.

Jessica Pegula

• Date of birth: 24 February 1994
• Age: 30 years old
• Place of birth: Buffalo, New York, USA
• Residence: Boca Raton, Florida, USA
• Country (sports): USA
• Height: 170cm / 5ft 7ins
• Plays: Right-handed
• Career Prize Money: US$ 5,069,581

• Instagram: @jpegula

The 30-year-old was born in Buffalo, New York and was introduced to tennis by her family when she was around seven years old.

She is half-Korean, as her mother was born in South Korea but grew up in New York to an American family.

Jessica made her debut on the WTA Tour in 2012 when she came through qualifying to reach the main draw of the Indian Wells Open.

Pegula claimed her first WTA title in 2019 at the Washington Open, defeating Camila Giorgi of Italy in the final.

She is also a talented doubles player and reached the final of the French Open with her partner Coco Gauff.

So, what do we know about Jessica’s journey to becoming the talented tennis player she is today? This is her story.

Early Life, Parents And Upbringing

Jessica Pegula was born on 24 February 1994 in Buffalo, New York in the USA.

She is the daughter of Terry and Kim Pegula, who are the owners of the Buffalo Bills, an NFL team, and the Buffalo Sabres, an NHL team. She has four siblings: Kelly, Matthew, Michael, and Laura.

Jessica is half-Korean, as her mother was born in South Korea but grew up in New York to an American family.

She was introduced to tennis by her family when she was around seven years old and her tennis idol when she was growing up was Martina Hingis.

“My older sister played Division 1 college tennis, so I was kind of around it when I was younger,” Jessica said in an interview with the WTA back in 2019.

“I took lessons after school when I was like six, or seven. And then I actually moved to Hilton Head, South Carolina because this coach from the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy, Billy Sterns used to come up north from Hilton Head and he thought I was really talented.

Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (1)

Jessica Pegula (Photo: Rena Schild / depositphotos.com)

“So really the only reason I got into tennis was because my older sister played. It was like an after-school activity that I did for fun, and then I was pretty good at it so it was something I ended up sticking with.”

Pegula decided to turn professional in 2011 when she was 17 years old, after she was handed wildcard into the main draw of the US Open doubles, where she was paired with Taylor Townsend and reached the third round.

“I was thinking about [going to] college a lot,” Pegula said back in 2015. “I was thinking even if I just got in, then I could leave [to play pro] and go back. But my parents said we can afford to help you with this. If you want to go for it, go for it.”

Her favourite shot is the backhand down the line, and her favorite tournament is the US Open.

Junior And Early Career

Pegula won two singles titles as a junior – in Hong Kong in 2007 and in Costa Rica in 2009. Her highest ranking as a junior player was number 63 in the world in February 2011.

She made her debut on the WTA Tour in singles in March 2012 at Indian Wells. After being handed a wildcard into the qualifying draw, she beat Bojana Jovanovski Petrovic and Paula Ormaechea to reach the main draw. In the first round, she lost to Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

Her main-draw debut at a grand slam tournament came in August 2015 at the US Open in New York. Pegula was handed a wildcard into the qualifying draw and won three matches to make it through to round one of the main draw.

There, she won her first grand slam singles match, beating Alison Van Uytvanck in straight sets. In the second round, she lost to Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (2)

“That [the 2015 US Open] was such a big leap for me,” Pegula said. “I remember my last round qualifying match… I played someone, and I came back and won. And for the final round of a qualifying, it made me feel really good because I was like, ‘Wow, I really pushed through that.’ And I ended up playing really well in my first match, and then I lost to Cibulkova second round in a tough match.”

Pegula missed around a year and a half of tennis – between late 2013 and the start of 2015 – due to a knee injury that required surgery. She made her return to action and began playing regularly again in January 2015.

She then required hip surgery in 2017 and missed almost a year of tennis. “The last one, my hip, was definitely the hardest to come back from,” Pegula said in 2021. “When I first realised I was probably going to have to get surgery, I was down and out for a couple days.

“I didn’t even know if I wanted to come back. This was just going to be so hard. I think I just got over it. I was like, whatever, I’m just going to fight through it again.”

Rise Up The Rankings

She made her return to action from hip surgery in 2017 and initially played mainly on the ITF women’s circuit.

Pegula reached her first career WTA Tour final at the Tournoi de Quebec in September 2018. She came through three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, and then beat the likes of Kristyna Pliskova and Petra Martic to reach the final. In the final, she lost to France’s Pauline Parmentier in straight sets.

Her first career WTA Tour title came in August 2019 at the Washington Open. She beat the likes of Iga Swiatek and Lauren Davis en route to the final, where she defeated Camila Giorgi of Italy 6-2 6-2.

“It’s been extremely gratifying,” Pegula said after the victory. “I mean, this is what you work for, to win tournaments and to just win, basically.

Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (3)

Jessica Pegula (Photo: Rena Schild / depositphotos.com)

“But, you know, the journey – it sounds cliche – the journey makes it all that much sweeter. I’ve worked really hard. So to kind of push through this week and really push myself to the limit, stronger than I kind of almost thought I was at times, really makes it amazing, yeah. I’m excited!”

At the 2021 Australian Open, Pegula reached the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the first time in her career, losing to American Jennifer Brady in three sets in the last eight.

She then began 2022 in impressive fashion, reaching the quarter-finals of both the Australian Open and French Open. She lost to eventual winners in both of the quarter-final matches – Ash Barty in Melbourne and Iga Swiatek in Paris.

Earnings, Net Worth And Prize Money

As of July 2022, Pegula has earned a total of US$ 5,069,581 in prize money from tennis, combined for singles and doubles.

Although Jessica’s personal net worth is not known, her father Terrence has a net worth of around US$ 5.8bn (Forbes, July 2022). He made his fortune in oil and gas before turning it into a sports empire which includes New York sports teams the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres.

In June 2022, The Sun reported that because of her parents’ wealth and her earnings from tennis, “Jessica is richer than tennis giants Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova combined”.

Life Away From The Court

Jessica is married to Taylor Gahagen, a corporate executive for Pegula Sports and Entertainment. The couple tied the knot in 2021.

Away from tennis, Jessica enjoys golf, sports, and design. She is passionate about the animal welfare charity that she co-founded with her husband, A Lending Paw, which supports rescue dogs and rehabilitates them for new homes.

She also owns her own skincare company called ‘Ready 24’.

Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (4)

Jessica Pegula (Photo: Rena Schild / depositphotos.com)

What Have Others Said?

Jessica’s mother, Kim, speaking in 2021 about Jessica’s decision to play professional tennis: “I remember thinking, ‘Why would she want to keep doing this?’. There are other women whose families are relying on them through tennis but she doesn’t have that worry. She doesn’t have to do this and her life would be so much easier if she didn’t [play]. But it’s because she loves this sport and she’s truly doing it for herself.”

Jessica Pegula - Age | Height | Prize Money | Parents | Net Worth | Biography (2024)
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