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New WTA season coming too quick for Pegula

Jessica Pegula said Thursday that the 2024 season was approaching much faster than expected and she has not had time to think about new goals after a memorable year.

The world number five is preparing for the ATP-WTA United Cup this week, having helped the United States defeat Italy to win the inaugural title of the mixed team event a year ago with teammate Taylor Fritz.

Both are back to defend their crown in the lead-in to next month’s Australian Open, getting their campaign underway on Sunday against the Cameron Norrie-led Britain.

“I can’t believe we’re starting this year already,” the 29-year-old said in Perth. “I certainly have not had any time to make new goals.

“I just want to start the season well, get some match wins and get some momentum going.

“You need to start off well with a positive mentality, after the last few (good) years I’ve had, it can be tough to keep that going.”

Pegula made a huge breakthrough last August by winning the Montreal Masters and also picked up a trophy in Seoul after her team’s United Cup title success at the start of the year.

But the American, whose billionaire family owns the Buffalo Bills NFL side, said her past season might be hard to duplicate.

“I had a lot of big tournament wins in 2023, so I hope I can carry that through the (upcoming) year,” she said.

“Top five margins are so small, you can’t over-think these things or they can backfire.

“I won Montreal but maybe I can ask for more, maybe go deeper in Slams. It’s hard to say what I need to do to improve.”

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