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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday, April 27, 2023

Prior to 2022, Jessica Pegula was 11-12 lifetime on clay with just one quarterfinal (2021 Rome) to her name. Since then the American has blossomed in every way – even on clay.

Tennis Express

Pegula is 14-5 on clay since the start of 2022, that number of course bolstered by her grand breakout in Madrid last year, where she reached her first 1000 level final. That she did it on clay does not go unnoticed in Pegula’s mind.

“That was my first 1000 final, definitely was a big step for me, let alone being on clay, I think was kind of a little bit of a surprise, to myself and other people,” she told the media at the Madrid Open this week. “It gave me a lot of confidence I think, starting the whole clay swing going into the French Open, it really helped.”

The current World No.3, who went on to reach the quarterfinals at Roland-Garros last June, says the trip to the final at the Magic Box has changed her view of what is possible for her on clay.

“It definitely changed my perspective of what I could do at big events,” she said. “I was always close but I think making that final was a big deal. And I had a really good match with Ons, who had a really great clay-court season that year, I think final in Rome as well. “It definitely gave me a lot more confidence on the surface.”

Pegula, who reached the semifinals on the green clay earlier this month in Charleston, will get her campaign underway when she fades Poland’s Magdalena Frech in second-round action on Friday in Madrid.