Daughter of Payments, Sabres homeowners into all-US QF in Australia | Sports activities

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – After Jessica Pegula earned her first trip to a Grand Slam quarter-finals, the daughter of the Buffalo NFL and NHL franchise owners scribbled on the screen of an Australian Open television camera, “Hello mom, hello Papa, see you next Jen B. “

In addition to greeting her parents, this was news for Jennifer Brady, a good friend of Pegula, whose fourth round match is scheduled for Monday (Sunday evening EST) at the Rod Laver Arena.

And after Brady also won and an all-American matchup against Pegula with a berth in the last four was at stake, she responded with a blue in-kind marker and wrote, “Bring it Jess!”

“It’s an opportunity for both of us,” said Pegula, remembering that she and Brady got close after playing doubles for the US in the team competition now known as the Billie Jean King Cup. “I’m just glad I’m here. She played good tennis and established herself as a top player. “

The 61st Pegula defeated Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, before Brady, 22, a Pennsylvanian who played college tennis at UCLA, 6-1, 7-1 would have. 5 Victory over No. 28 Donna Vekic from Croatia.

Brady was one of 72 players to go through a tough ban – stuck in a hotel room for two weeks, not allowed to leave for some reason – after flying to Australia in January because someone tested positive for COVID-19 on their flight Arrival.

Brady and Pegula gave the US at least three quarter-finalists at Melbourne Park, joining 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, who had advanced the day before. And a fourth was also a possibility because Shelby Rogers without seeds played for another place in the round of 16 against Ash Barty No. 1.

The other remaining women’s game was No. 18 Elise Mertens against Karolina Muchova.

“I mean, it’s pretty great to see. I hope we can all prevail, ”said Pegula. “The last, I don’t know, year or so, we really all pushed each other. Maybe we didn’t tell each other, but I think we can all feel it. “

She is on quite a breakthrough.

Pegula has won four games at Melbourne Park in the past week – including wins against two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur – after taking part in the hard court tournament with a total of three wins at majors for her career .

Also significant for Pegula, who works with David Witt, former trainer of Venus Williams: She started the day with a 6-0 record against the top 10 women.

Witt said Pegula’s growing confidence was a big part of her progress. She found some kind of kinship with her family’s soccer team, the Bills, who have played the playoffs three of the last four seasons behind quarterback Josh Allen after spending nearly two decades without a trip into the postseason.

“Even last year when he wasn’t playing that well, I said, ‘I like this kid. ‘I loved his competitive spirit. He was a gamer. He just wanted to win. That’s something you like to see, “she said of Allen. “It’s definitely something that I think I’ve tried to incorporate a bit into my game, even when I see the team get that strength, that competitive attitude and that attitude – in tennis sometimes it’s 90% the games. I think it’s really cool to see her and put that energy into my work. “

Brady’s progress is far less surprising as she made it to the semifinals of the US Open in September before losing to eventual champion Naomi Osaka.

Vekic’s right knee was heavily taped by a trainer early in the second set, which eventually led to 5. But Brady fell in love there when Vekic made a double mistake and then fought for victory.

There will also be a quarter-finals for men with one nation between Russians Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev. Medvedev, the runner-up at the 2019 US Open, eliminated the 192nd American Mackenzie McDonald in 1 1/2 hours 6: 4, 6: 2, 6: 3, while Rublev moved on when Casper Ruud No. 22 stopped due to an injury filing the first two sentences.

A third Russian, 114th qualifier Aslan Karatsev, had already advanced, giving the country a trio of quarter-finalists at a major tournament for the only time in the professional era.

Also in this half of the draw, Rafael Nadal moved closer to the 21st Men’s Grand Slam Cup with the overwhelming number 16 Fabio Fognini 6-3, 6-4, 6-2. Nadal’s next opponent will be Stefanos Tsitsipas No. 5 or Matteo Berrettini No. 9.

With the sky blue and temperature in the low 70s Fahrenheit (low 20s Celsius) and no fans in the stands for the third day in a row due to a local COVID-19 lockdown, Pegula dictated the exchange of basic strokes from the right along the baseline.

At the beginning she pushed against the two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist Svitolina, who eliminated the American teenager Coco Gauff in the second round, and prevailed 1-0 in the second round.

Until then, Pegula had not been broken.

But here was Svitolina, everything slipped away. She suddenly broke Pegula twice in a row, which was part of a four-game run that saw Svitolina take a 4-1 lead in the second set to force a third.

As if flipping a switch or remembering what had worked so well in the past, Pegula reverted to her more aggressive style of hit-to-the-corner game, leading 4-1, though she was broken 4-3 , but broke right back and took the most important win of her career by taking the last four points after falling behind Love-30.

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