Jessica Pegula stunned world No. 1 Iga Świątek in the semifinals of the Canadian Open on Saturday, beating the Polish star, 6-2 6-7(4) 6-4.
Amid the drama, however, was a moment of mass confusion at center court: As Swiatek reached for the ball, in the second set tiebreak, the opening notes to “Cotton-Eyed Joe” played through the sound system. The fans gasped.
I mean what the 😂 https://t.co/EWtqqwauLQ— Jessie Pegula (@JPegula) August 12, 2023
I mean what the 😂 https://t.co/EWtqqwauLQ
“I just thought it was funny,” Pegula told reporters afterward. “I’ve never had that happen, let alone with ‘Cotton-Eye Joe.’ I was like: ‘Is this really happening right now?’ Of all the songs. It was just like: ‘What is going on?’
Pegula wore a look of astonishment as the referee announced the point would need to be replayed.
“It was a bummer because I hit a really good lob and she barely got it, and I had a really good play on the ball, and she was kind of out of position from the lob that I hit,” Pegula said.
Świątek went on to win the next 12 points and leveled the match at one set each. But Pegula rallied and won 16 of the last 19 points of the match to seal the victory – Pegula’s send over Świątek this year.
Pegula will play the winner of the match between Elena Rybakina or Liudmila Samsonova in the final Sunday evening. She would be the first American winner of the tournament since Serena Williams in 2013.
This time, hopefully, the match won’t be interrupted by a horrifyingly catchy country folk dance ballad from the 19th century.