The only bright side of World No. 5 Jessica Pegula's first-round exit from the 2024 Australian Open was that perhaps she could go home and watch her beloved Buffalo Bills host the Kansas City Chiefs in an NFL divisional playoff game.
Pegula's parents, Kim and Terry Pegula, own the Buffalo Bills, and she has never been shy in sharing her support of the team. One year ago, Pegula wore Bills safety Damar Hamlin's jersey number 3 on her skirt as he recovered from the on-the-field cardiac arrest that nearly took his life.
Over the summer while preparing for the US Open, she stopped by Bills' training camp to wish the team good luck in the 2023 season. Bills players love and support Jessica Pegula also. Last year at the Miami Open, some were present to watch her (and partner Coco Gauff) play. Their presence was a good luck charm as Pegula and Gauff won the doubles title in Miami.
How Jessica Pegula's tennis career and the Buffalo Bills playoff losses are similar
With the Bills fanbase suffering after another disheartening loss to Kansas City in a very winnable game, it is not surprising that Pegula is among the fans saddened by the result. Pegula retweeted an excerpt from Bills quarterback Josh Allen's postgame press conference. Allen said: "Losing sucks... I don't know what else to say." She added that she "feels for the team in this moment."
The Bills and Jessica Pegula's tennis career have interesting parallels. The Bills have been perennial playoff contenders but have never been able to get themselves into the AFC Championship or the Super Bowl. Jessica Pegula has been among the most consistent women's singles players on the WTA Tour for the past few years, but she has never been able to get beyond the quarterfinal round of a Grand Slam. Hopefully, both can get over the hump in 2024 and achieve much-deserved success.