Jessica Pegula, daughter of Bills owners, defeated in quarterfinals of Australian Open

UPDATE: Victoria Azarenka defeated Buffalo-native Jessica Pegula in a huge upset for women’s singles in the Australian Open. Pegula fell to Azarenka 4-6 in the first set, then 6-4, 6-1 in the second set.

At No. 3, Pegula was the highest remaining seed in the tournament. However, No. 24 veteran tennis star Azarenka, who used to compete for Belarus, won the tournament in 2012 and 2013.

MELBOURNE, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills season may be over. However, Jessica Pegula, the Buffalo native and daughter of Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula, continues to advance in the Australian Open.

The 28-year-old tennis star beat Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic in straight sets on Sunday. That was in the round of 16, with the score 5-2 in the first set and a narrow 7-6 in the second set.

Now, no. 3 seed Pegula is preparing for the quarter-finals, where she’ll take on no. 24 seed Victoria Azarenka, the tournament champion in 2012 and 2013 who used to compete for Belarus. The match starts on Tuesday at 3 a.m. Eastern Time.

Last year, after winning in the round of 32 in the Australian Open, Pegula wrote the message on a camera “Bills, you’re next”. That was days before the Bills fell to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime in a fast-faced playoff game. This year, Pegula wore the number 3 on her outfit in support of Bills safety Damar Hamlin who went into cardiac arrest during a game.

Tuesday will mark the third year in a row that Pegula has appeared in the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Pegula currently has the highest seed in women’s singles, with no. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland and no. 2 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia eliminated.

Pegula lost in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in 2021 and 2022. Pegula told the AP that she’s confident that she could defeat Azarenka and move on.

“I have a great shot here. … All around, throughout the whole tournament, I’ve been playing the best I have,” she said.