Rick Macci Analysis: Jessica Pegula
Dec 23, 2023
Legendary coach Rick Macci has been delivering succinct analyses of the games of several leading pros (past and present) through in depth interviews with Florida Tennis editor Jim Martz. Macci continues in this post with his views on Jessica Pegula.
I’m glad to talk about her. This is a perfect example for any junior parent or player. It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
I don’t know for sure, but she didn’t win any nationals. She wasn’t the flavor of the month. She wasn’t the best junior. This has been a slow process, a slow moving train on a mission.
The thing I like, her strokes are compact, they’re clean, they’re hard, they’re kind of flat. That’s the recipe in women’s tennis. You don’t want to go zone free with heavy spin. That’s all situational.
So maybe that consistency in the juniors wasn’t there as much, but she hit the ball very clean and she hit it kind of flat.
But the wild card in this: She loves to play. She plays singles and doubles, she’s a great volleyer.
And the mental part, this is what I love about her. She broke the mold.
You talk about entitlement. Every parent wants their kid rough and tough and competitive, but then they go to the mall and buy them a Gucci bag!
Now here you’ve got someone like Pegula, whose dad owns the Buffalo Bills. You talk about entitlement.
She’s not an M, she’s a B, as in billionaire. She doesn’t have to play tennis, she could be at the beach with a pina colada.
But she’s playing because she loves to compete. And that’s what people have to understand.
So, she broke the mold where you have the means and you’re still out there digging, scraping and having that burning desire. And she comes back in a lot of matches where it would be easy to pack it in.
That’s why I love this story, because it doesn’t matter what background. We can’t say these kids are spoiled. If she can do it, anybody can do it.
But look at her game, it’s clean, she takes the ball early, she controls the baseline. She’ll chip it. She’s not afraid to come to the net. She plays doubles, she plays all the tournaments.
I love this kid. She’s not going anywhere.
Interview with Rick Macci was conducted by Florida Tennis Founder and Editor Jim Martz. This article also appears in the November/December 2023 issue of Florida Tennis Magazine. Be sure to subscribe for expanded coverage, exclusive interviews, and in-depth tennis news. Photos: Credit One Charleston Open. For those looking to see Pegula this Spring, she's scheduled to appear at the Credit One Charleston Open.