Melbourne, Jan 23 (SocialNews.XYZ) American Tennis great John McEnroe gave his take on the Australian Open women's singles draw, saying "Jessica Pegula is the player to beat".
He added that Kazakh player Elena Rybakina will be the American's formidable challenge in the tournament.
After the exit of the world no 1 Iga Swiatek and Coco Gauff from the tournament, Pegula is the highest seed left in the draw. The world No. 3 has never gone beyond the quarterfinal stage of a Grand Slam but her current form makes her the favourite to win the major.
"I think Pegula is mentally rock solid, she's got herself in a place where it's intimidating how strong mentally, she is. Her game, it doesn't feel like it's going to break down where some of the other players do," McEnroe was quoted as saying by Eurosport.
"The people that can stop her... Rybakina for example has got the firepower. She's hard to beat, she showed that when she beat Iga. So that would be a formidable challenge for Pegula," he added.
Pegula reached the last eight of the Australian Open after beating Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-2 in a Round-of-16 clash on Sunday.
Pegula is into the quarterfinals in Melbourne for the third straight year. She had her Grand Slam breakthrough here in 2021 as an unseeded player, then backed it up last year to kick off a season where she also reached the same round at Roland Garros and the US Open
Bidding to make her first major semifinal, Pegula will face two-time champion Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday.