Pegula thought she’d quit tennis after mum’s heartbreaking illness

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Jessica Pegula has opened up on her family’s emotional last few months following her mother’s sudden cardiac arrest. The world No 4 admitted that she thought she may have to quit tennis at the age of 28 amid her mum’s subsequent recovery journey. The tennis player’s mother is Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres  president and owner Kim Pegula.

Pegula has penned a heartfelt essay for The Players’ Tribune detailing what she called the story of her mother, her family and the past year. The two-time title winner revealed that – between the French Open and Wimbledon last year – her mum went into cardiac arrest in the middle of the night and was taken to hospital, where medics eventually figured out what was wrong and “fixed it”.

The 28-year-old described how her sister “saved her mum’s life” by performing CPR before things then turned to her mum’s subsequent recovery, writing: “Our concern had now moved from the cardiac arrest to a brain injury. Not to mention all the other issues that come with both of those events.” Pegula and her family – including her billionare businessman dad Terry Pegula – then spent the next two weeks virtually “living in that hospital” to be by Kim’s side before the world No 4 made the decision to fly to Wimbledon and compete once her mum made some “small improvements”.

Pegula’s mum is also president and owner of both the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, and the tennis star explained how much she “loved to work” and was “the woman behind [her] dad’s success” before the family realised that “all of that is most likely gone. That she won’t be able to be that person anymore.” It let to the world No 4 questioning whether she would have to give up tennis and help out with her family’s businesses despite Kim’s wishes that she finish her playing career before getting more involved.

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