BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jessica Pegula is still in contention for an Australian Open title as semifinalist in the doubles tournament with partner Coco Gauff.

Pegula, the Buffalo native who is ranked No. 3 in the world, and Gauf, the second-highest ranked American at No. 7, will face the Japanese tandem of Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibaharaat at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in Melbourne, Australia.

Seeded second in the Grand Slam event, the Pegula-Gauff team has lost just one set in four match victories. They were dominant in the quarterfinals, winning 6-1, 6-1 against Hao-Ching Chan and Zhaoxuan Yang overnight into Tuesday.

Top-seeded Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerinia Siniakova are still alive in the tournament. The finals will be played Friday night.

Pegula and Gauff reached the French Open doubles final last year.

Venus and Serena Williams are the last American doubles team to win a Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2016. The Williams’ sisters also were the last all-American doubles pair to win the Australian Open, repeating in 2009 and 2010. Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech partner Lucie Šafářová won in 2015 and 2017.

Pegula lost in the quarterfinals of the singles event, 6-4, 6-1 against Victoria Azarenka, after she won four matches in straight sets.

The 28-year-old Pegula was playing in the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the third year in a row but fell to 0-5 for her career at that stage in Grand Slam tournaments, with each loss in straight sets. Her parents own the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, and Pegula wore a patch on her skirt during matches with the No. 3, the jersey number of player Damar Hamlin, who collapsed on the field during a game on Jan. 2.


Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.