Jessica Pegula rejoins WTA tour in San Diego with two new coaches

Pegula split with longtime coach David Witt earlier in February
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Jessica Pegula is having a busy 2024, but much of the activity has been off the tennis court. An early exit from the Australian Open, an injury timeout, a coaching split, and a milestone birthday have been on her radar.

The newly minted 30-year-old is healthy and back on the court in San Diego playing singles and doubles this week. Her usual partner, Coco Gauff, is not in the San Diego draw so she is playing doubles with American Desirae Krawczyk.

This is her first tournament since splitting with David Witt. Many fans are curious about who is on her team. She has employed two former tennis players with the first name of Mark.

Who are the new additions to Pegula's team?

Both Marks are 50-something native Bahamians. Mark Merklein was an accomplished college player and assistant coach at the University of Florida. Mark Knowles previously coached Mardy Fish, Jack Sock, and Milos Raonic. Knowles, a former World No. 1 in doubles, has 56 career doubles titles, mixed doubles titles, and four Grand Slams. Knowles is also a contributor/analyst on the Tennis Channel.

It is unclear if Pegula is working with Merklein and Knowles on a trial basis through the spring or if this is the beginning of a longer-term relationship. Her time with Witt was the most successful of her career; however, she has her eyes focused on the Grand Slams and the Olympics, presumably believing she needed new voices and strategies to achieve success in these high-profile events.

With her frequent doubles partner Coco Gauff winning her maiden Grand Slam in 2023, it would be great if Pegula got hers in 2024, and if the pair could win a doubles Grand Slam or Olympic medal together. The women's game is loaded with talent so Pegula's timeline to win is now.

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