There was an uncomfortable silence in the media room when US tennis star Jessica Pegula fronted up after her loss to fellow American and close friend Madison Keys.
Keys had stunned the third seed, wiping her off the court in about an hour with a swift 6-1 6-3 victory in the fourth round of the US Open.
But after the top-ranked American was sent packing, she needed to refocus, as she had a doubles game approaching.
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There was no time to let her emotions get in the way, however, that’s not how one media outlet saw it.
As Pegula wiped her eye when she walked off the court, the team from Tennis Podcast tweeted that she was in fact in tears.
And that did catch the eye of Pegula.
Jessica Pegula was unimpressed with a tweet that suggested he was crying. Credit: Screenshot
In the post-match media conference that followed, the 29-year-old was determined to set the record straight, which made for incredibly awkward scenes.
She eyeballed one journalist and then raised her finger.
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“Were you guys the ones that tweeted that I cried when I walked off the court?” she inquired.
In scenes similar to a teacher telling off a child in the classroom, what followed was an eerie silence … so Pegula asked again.
“Weren’t you guys the Tennis Podcast?’ she asked.
Eventually a journalist said “yeah”, but added: “But I don’t do our tweets.”
Pegula said: “Ohh, OK, someone said I walked off the court in tears …
“I most definitely was not crying. I’m pretty sure that was from you guys. I don’t know if you tweeted it exactly.
Good friends Keys and Pegula embrace after their fourth-round match at the US Open. Credit: Getty Images
“I definitely wasn’t crying, so …”
The journalist then chipped in: “It wasn’t me.”
Pegula was keen to clarify her situation.
”It just sounded really sad. I was like, I definitely wasn’t crying. I just got waxed in like an hour.
“(Then) I got to go play doubles in an hour. I was like, OK … anyways.”
For Keys, the victory sent her into the quarterfinal for the first time since 2018 and she will now face Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.
“I’ve had so many amazing moments in New York,” said Keys, who is playing in her 12th US Open main draw.
“It’s always tough having to play a friend … (but) when we get on the court it’s all business,” she said.
– With AAP
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