Rising above setbacks: Jessica Pegula triumphs over food poisoning in Paris


World No.3 Jessica Pegula experienced a tumultuous start to her Parisian journey for the 2023 French Open. Her first night in the city turned into a nightmare as the escargots or salmon she consumed for dinner turned out to be of questionable quality, resulting in an unpleasant bout of food poisoning on Tuesday evening. This unfortunate incident not only disrupted her preparation for the Grand Slam but also left her with an apprehensive outlook on dining out in the French capital.

Jessica Pegula

Reflecting on the ordeal in her BBC blog, the 29-year-old tennis star shared her frustration:

Coming into this week’s French Open, my preparations were completely thrown by getting food poisoning on my first night and first dinner in Paris.

What horrendous luck – I haven’t gone out to a restaurant since because I’ve been too afraid to eat there.

I don’t know exactly what did the damage. I had escargots – I love escargots – but everyone else in my group had them. I also had salmon so maybe it was a bad piece of fish.

I was throwing up for the whole night and I couldn’t sleep much.

As a consequence, Pegula had to skip practice on Wednesday and could only manage limited sessions on Thursday due to her persistent weakness, lack of appetite, and recurring symptoms of nausea and acid reflux.

Despite feeling like a zombie for two consecutive days, Pegula displayed unwavering determination to overcome the setback. The American cautiously continued her practice, mindful of not further compromising her immune system. However, with her first-round match looming on Sunday, she couldn’t shake off the uneasiness caused by the physical discomfort and pre-match nerves, leaving her feeling unprepared and discontented.

Nevertheless, the third-seeded Pegula adopted a resilient mindset, focusing on herself and her recovery. She entered the first-round match against compatriot Danielle Collins with an unwavering determination to persevere and subsequently allow herself two days of much-needed recuperation. Remarkably, she put up an admirable performance against her skilled opponent. In the second round, Pegula took control of the match against Camila Giorgi with a 6-2 0-0 lead before the Italian retired due to injury.

With her health significantly improved, Pegula eagerly anticipates her third-round encounter with the No.28 seed, Elise Mertens, scheduled for Friday. Having triumphed over food poisoning, she now looks forward to showcasing her full potential and making a strong run at Roland Garros.


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