BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Jessica Pegula lost a set for the first time in three matches at the U.S. Open before rallying to win 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 against Elina Svitolina on Saturday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens.

Pegula, the highest-seeded American at No. 3, won the final five games after falling behind 2-1 in the decisive set against Svitolina, the No. 26 seed from the Ukraine who reached the U.S. Open semifinals in 2019.

The Buffalo native daughter of Bills and Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula will now face No. 17 Madison Keys on Monday for a berth in the quarterfinals. Jessica Pegula has reached the quarterfinals in five of the past seven Grand Slam tournaments.

Pegula and Keys kept noticing their names near each other in tournament draws this summer.

“We were like, ‘I think the world just wants us to play,’” Pegula said.

At the U.S. Open, they finally will.

Pegula had breezed through her first two matches, winning 6-3, 6-1 against Patricia Maria Tig, and 6-2, 6-2 against Camila Giorgi. In the doubles tournament, Pegula and partner Coco Gauff are the highest-seeded tandem remaining. Gauff has also reached the fourth round, in line to potentially meet Pegula in the quarterfinals.

Keys, the 2017 runner-up at Flushing Meadows, came back to defeat No. 14 Liudmila Samsonova 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday.

No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka — who has a chance to overtake Iga Swiatek at No. 1 in the rankings depending on their results the rest of the way at the U.S. Open — continued her smooth march through the bracket by defeating Clara Burel of France 6-1, 6-1.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion in January, has dropped a total of just 12 games through three matches so far. Sabalenka now takes on No. 13 Daria Kasatkina, a 2022 French Open semifinalist, who returns to the fourth round in New York for the first time in six years after getting past Greet Minnen of Belgium 6-3, 6-4.

Men’s U.S. Open

Even if Carlos Alcaraz was by no means perfect during a victory in the U.S. Open’s third round on Saturday — he dropped a set, after all — the defending champion produced enough bits of brilliance to keep himself smiling and prompt his opponent, Dan Evans, to chuck his racket a couple of times.

Less than 12 hours after the man he’s expected to meet next weekend for the title, Novak Djokovic, needed to fashion a comeback from a two-set deficit to win, Alcaraz progressed to the fourth round at Flushing Meadows for the third consecutive year by beating the 26th-seeded Evans 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.

Alcaraz, the No. 1 seed, showed off a variety of his considerable collection of skills, generating the sorts of highlights that both he and his fans have come to expect.

“We play to make the people happy, as well, to entertain them and try to make the match fun,” said Alcaraz, who won his second Grand Slam title by edging Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July. “It’s great to have those kind of points, as well, and to feel the energy that they enjoy.”

The 20-year-old from Spain is trying to become the first man to win two titles in a row in New York since Roger Federer took five straight from 2004-08.


Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.