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Jessica Pegula named to U.S. tennis team for Tokyo Olympics

Australian Open Tennis
Posted at 11:20 AM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 11:21:39-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Olympic tennis team for the Tokyo Olympics has been named and Western New York native Jessica Pegula is among those heading to Tokyo this summer.

Team USA will consist of six women and six men, with four singles players and two doubles teams among them.

Pegula, the daughter of Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres owners Kim and Terry Pegula, is currently the 26th-ranked women's tennis player in the world and will be competing in the Olympics for the first time. Joining Pegula will be four other first-time Olympians Jennifer Brady, Coco Gauff, Alison Riske, Nicole Melichar and a former gold medalist Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Brady, Gauff, Pegula and Riske will compete in the women's singles competition. Melichar will partner with Gauff and Mattek-Sands will partner with Pegula in doubles competition.

Pegula finished 2020 ranked 62nd in the world, her success in 2021 has led to her current ranking of 26th in the world.

In February Pegula reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. This marked the furthest she ever advanced in a grand slam. En route to the quarterfinals, Pegula knocked off No. 12 ranked Victoria Azarenka, and No. 5 ranked Elina Svitolina. She also reached the round of 32 of the French Open in June.

A few other Western New Yorkers will also be heading to Tokyo for the Olympics. Kenmore's Anita Alvarez qualified for Artistic Swimming Duet and Newfane High School and Canisius College alum Brian Irr will represent Team USA in karate.