Meet the world’s richest tennis star who is heiress to £3.6billion fortune

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Tennis sensation Jessica Pegula picked up just shy of £300,000 after she reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Such a sum might seem like a nice payday for most sports stars, but it's not even a drop in the ocean for the 26-year-old American.

That's because Pegula is an heiress who stands to inherit a colossal £3.6billion fortune from her father Terry Pegula.

The self-made businessman earned his money from natural gas development and is the proud owner of NFL side Buffalo Bills.

He saw off competition from the likes of Donald Trump and Bon Jovi to purchase the Bills, who reached last season's playoffs.

Terry also owns NHL team the Buffalo Sabres and other Buffalo-based outfits including the Beauts and the Bandits.

The family's interest extends beyond sport, though, and the Pegula family are also proud custodians of a £14million superyacht.

It boasts six cabins which can house up to 12 guests, although there are rumours the family are eyeing up a bigger ship in the future.

In all, Jessica and her father are worth more than the likes of Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova combined.

With such incredible wealth, Jessica could've been forgiven for taking her eye off the ball and not focusing on her tennis career.

Yet she maintains a huge passion for the sport and overcame a host of injury problems to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.

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  • Jessica has suffered from both hip and knee injuries but battled through the pain barrier to defeat some of tennis's biggest names.

    She saw off two-time Australian Open champion and former world number one Viktoria Azarenka in round one of the competition.

    2011 US Open winner Sam Stosur was then beaten in straight sets before she won comprehensively against Kristina Mladenovic.

    Victory over Elina Svitolina set up a quarter-final with Jennifer Brady, who ultimately brought Jessica's fairytale run to an end.

    And she told Wide World of Sport that rather than shun her fortunate background, it actually spurred her on in her tennis career.

    "When I was younger, it was more like I wanted to make a name for myself and then I realised as I got older, I should embrace the whole family aspect of it instead", she said.

    "It was almost hurting me in a way because it wasn't going to go away and I learned to embrace that, kind of have fun with it.

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    "Tennis is my thing, it's my job, it's my career. It's very separate and my parents don't really have any say right now in anything I do on the court."

    It's not just on the court where Pegula is making her own way either – she opened a ice-hockey-themed healthy eating restaurant in 2017 with her sister Kelly in Buffalo, New York.

    According to the restaurant's website, Jessica: "Leads in the creation and development of the healthy food and beverage menu items, and overall business management."

    She also has her own skincare range called Ready 24, which has been on the market since 2017.

    • Tennis

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