Jessica Pegola, Coco Gauff moved into the top five in the ranking


Suspension

Sports fans tend to shy away from tennis after the US Open champions were crowned, bringing an end to the season’s four Grand Slams.

But professional tennis has continued ever since Carlos Alcaraz And the Iga Swiatek They raised their cups in September. And with far less fanfare, this week has been a historic moment for Jessica Pegula, Coca Gauff, and women’s tennis in general.

After winning Sunday’s Guadalajara Open, Pegula, 28, jumped to third in the world rankings, and achieved the highest level of her career after 13 years on the Pro Tour,

Fellow American Coco Gauff, 18, made a parallel jump alongside her good friend and frequent doubles partner, reaching number four in her career when the WTA rankings were calculated this week.

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it’s the For the first time since 2010 That two American women have been ranked among the top five in the world, after 12 years of drought since Serena and Venus Williams ranked second and fourth, respectively.

It’s only been eight weeks since The tennis world bids farewell to Serena Williams At a prime-time gala at Arthur Ashe Stadium that followed her first-round victory at the US Open, which she indicated would be the last of her career. Vogue magazine It was “evolving away from tennis”.

Recently, Williams, 41, left the door open to return to competition. But the narrative of changing the guard atop women’s tennis is underway, as is men’s tennis.

For Pegula, Guadalajara’s win was profound, her first title being in the Masters 1000 event, which is one place below the Grand Slam event in terms of ranking points, domain level and prestige. She then explained that winning the 1000 event was one of her goals for the season.

Juff celebrated her career high with A Share on social media Monday, she tweeted: “Special feeling when waking up from the top 5 players in the world in singles and doubles. #Shaker”

They both have another tournament remaining: the WTA Finals, which begins Monday in Fort Worth, Texas, after being moved from China in response to ongoing concerns about Safety and independence of Peng Shuai.

Only the top eight players in the world are invited to compete, so simply qualifying for the event is an important achievement. Pegula and Gauff will not only make their first WTA singles final; They will also participate in the doubles event.

For nearly 20 years, the trio of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have dominated men’s tennis, with their 63 collective titles at Grand Slams seldom allowing anyone else to impress.

With only Nadal among them to compete in this year’s US Open, the 128-player men’s court was considered wide open. It was won by a teenager – 19-year-old Alcaraz, whose bravery evoked memories of a young Nadal. Since then, Alcaraz has climbed to number one in the world.

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But it was the 24-year-old American Frances Tiafoe who injected electricity into a Grand Slam that was a requiem. Tiafoe became the first American man to reach the semi-finals of the US Open since 2006, Nadal knocked out in the round of 16. With the sheer force of his passion, and his forehands, Tiafoe has also become a TV watcher.

Like Pegula and Gauff, Tiafoe is on track to finish 2022 with a senior career ranking. He is currently number 17. Taylor Fritz, at age 24, is ahead of American men at number 10.

“Very honestly, my standings are great and everything, but I just want to win the biggest titles in the world,” Tiafoe told reporters after winning 17th at the Japan Open earlier this month.

Every sport produces beloved and irreplaceable champions of their era. But the sport is renewing itself.

Behind the achievements of Pegula, Gauff, Fritz and Tiafoe, American tennis appears to be doing just that.


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