Jessica Pegula, daughter of Buffalo Bills owners, shows support for Damar Hamlin in Australian Open win
Jessica Pegula, daughter of the Buffalo Bills owners, showed her support for Daumer Hamlin during his straight sets win in the second round of the Australian Open.
The world No. 3 wore Hamlin’s No. 3 shorts during her 6-2 7-6 (5) win over Belarus’ Aliakandra Sasnovich.
“I definitely wanted to do something,” Pegula said after the win when asked about paying tribute to Hamlin.
“We were figuring out what Bill and Saber were doing, like what the message was. I knew what they might do and what message they were trying to send. It was the symbol of ‘3’.
Hamlin was hospitalized in Cincinnati when his heart suddenly stopped following a tackle during a Jan. 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The 24-year-old Bills safety was released after spending more than a week in the hospital.
“I thought it would be a fun way to connect with the team and also show my support. I felt like it was a global event. There were a lot of people asking me about it here too,” said Pegula, who was in Sydney when Hamlin fell.
He said he watched the Bills’ 34-31 wild-card win over the Miami Dolphins in Melbourne — the Bills now face the Bengals in the divisional round, Hamlin’s night of Buffalo’s opponents collapsing.
Pegula also paid tribute to Hamlin after her 6-0, 6-1 first-round win over Jacqueline Christian by writing “Go Bills #3” on the camera lens.
Pegula has had a great start to the New Year after finishing 2022 at a career-high No. 3 in the world rankings.
He entered the Australian Open off the back of a strong performance in the inaugural United Cup where he led Team USA to victory. In the semi-finals, he defeated world No. 1 Iga Sviatek 6–2, 6–2 who he is on course to face in the semi-finals at Melbourne Park.
In her last two appearances at the Australian Open, the 28-year-old exited at the quarter-final stage, but this year, her sights have been set higher. When asked if she could win the competition, she said: “That’s the plan.”
“Every tournament you want to take it one match at a time but, at the same time, you still want to achieve those big goals,” he said. “Certainly going as far as possible these few weeks is my main priority.”
Pegula will face either wildcard Olivia Gadecki or Marta Kostyuk in the third round on Friday.