Jessica Pegula thought she’d have to quit tennis after mum’s heartbreaking illness | Tennis | Sport

“I remember telling one of my teammates, ‘I am a little freaked out right now, this is too close to home, and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack.’ Pegula continued, before revealing that she chose to play and ended up winning. The third seed at the Australian Open then wore a number three during the tournament in honour of Hamlin, but said it was also a tribute to her mum.

She wrote: “Ironically, yes, I was ranked No. 3 in the world. However, it didn’t feel like it was just for him, it felt like it was for my mom as well. To see the attention it garnered in Australia, across the world, in a different country, just reminded me why I love sports and the beauty of coming together.”

Pegula also said that her mum was “working hard in her recovery, she is improving, but where she ends up is still unknown” before sharing her gratitude to have her mum home and recovering after a distressing period. “I am thankful she is still with us when other families may not have been so lucky. That she even had a chance at recovery when the first week in the hospital seemed so dim. Thankful for the doctors that aided in her recovery. Thankful that she is now home, that she gets to watch the Bills, Sabres, and my tennis matches. She never watched my matches before, because she got too nervous. Now she watches all of them,” she concluded, also thanking the Buffalo community.