Jessica Pegula made use of special rule to stop ranking slide after injury hiatus

Thursday, 13 June 2024 at 01:56
Jessica Pegula has not slipped out of the top five of the WTA Rankings after making use of a special rule despite technically dropping below Marketa Vondrousova in usual circumstances after the French Open.
Pegula has been ranked in the top 10 for over 100 consecutive weeks with 89 of those weeks spent in the top five and it seems she didn't want that stint to end. She was expected to drop to 6th during the latest WTA Ranking Update. But she didn't with Vondrousova staying in situ. Before this week, Pegula hadn't played in over eight weeks which meant she applied for a special exemption.
The 30-year-old withdrew from the remainder of the clay court season in Europe. This included the French Open due to injury. This after she initially only left the tour temporarily due to tight turnaround of tournaments during the early clay court juncture.
But on return to training, she suffered a setback and was out for some time. Prior to yesterday in 's-Hertogenbosch, she had not played on tour officially since April 6. According to the WTA rulebook, this makes her able to apply for a long-term injury exemption if they are absent for a minimum of eight weeks. As was the case with Pegula.
Vondrousova had 4503 by reaching the Quarter-Finals of the French Open. While Pegula had 4420. But she was not required to count the 0 points she received from mandatory tournaments. This freed up two of her non-countable results from the last 52 weeks. These being Eastbourne and Cincinnati with only a certain amount going towards the rankings. This means she frees up 205 points and it now equals 4625 so she keeps the wolves from the door for now so to speak.
Having a rib injury where she struggled to sleep and breathe. It has been a tough time for Pegula. "The treatment for both of them is the same," Pegula said. "So let's take the safe route, treat it like a stress fracture.
"It's just such a crazy year with the Olympics squeezed in. With my game, I'd rather be ready for grass and the rest of the hard-court season and grind out the rest of the year, than try and push it for clay and it doesn't feel well. That's why we played it safe."
"We were training as though I was going to play the French, but it was just a little too soon," Pegula continued. "I've been healthy for a few weeks now. If French had started a week later I would have been there for sure."

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