Jessica Pegula came out firing after an article in The Times, a British newspaper, asked if she could have the requisite drive to win grand slam tournaments when her family is worth billions.
Pegula, 29, the daughter of Bills and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, lost in the Wimbledon quarterfinals in three sets to Marketa Vondrousova on Tuesday.
It was the sixth time that Pegula has reached the round of eight in a grand slam but failed to advance to the semifinals, and the British newspaper deployed some armchair analysis.
“Six quarter-finals, six defeats: Jessica Pegula needs dynamic that family billions can’t buy,” the Times’ headline read.
Pegula fired back on Twitter, writing, “I’ll tell you what I won’t buy is this [trash] article,” adding a laughing emoji.
As of last October, Forbes estimated Terry and Kim Pegula’s net worth at $6.7 billion.
The Times theorized that Jessica Pegula lacked the requisite hunger to claw her way to a grand slam victory because she doesn’t need the money.
“In the early 1990s the Buffalo Bills reached the Super Bowl four times in a row but never won one,” the article said.
“She is surrounded by luxury, but no grand-slam trophies. Which begs the question of what drives her. Is it possible to be hungry for victory if defeat is not overly meaningful in terms of wealth? Pegula has her own skincare brand and launched a health food restaurant chain in 2016, which has since closed down.
“Tennis is a sport littered with pushy parents or parents who regard their offspring as a meal ticket. It is littered with players who feel a deep visceral desire to win for their nation, especially if that nation has been through a crisis. Tennis can be an escape from poverty or reality. It can be all the individual has. Take away the racket and there is no plan B. Pegula has a plan B whether she wants it or not.”
Pegula has had a lot of weight on her mind for the past year-plus, too, as her mother, Kim, has faced an arduous recovery after suffering from cardiac arrest last June.
She wrote a story describing the harrowing circumstances of the medical emergency in the Players Tribune this past February.