Canadian Open: Iga Swiatek-Jessica Pegula match interrupted by ‘Cotton-Eye Joe’

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Aug 12, 2023; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Jessica Pegula (USA) reacts after losing a point against Iga Swiatek (POL) (not pictured) during semi final play at IGA Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Jessica Pegula notched one of the biggest, and weirdest, wins of her career against Iga Swiatek. (David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports)

Tennis is a sport where you will be shushed by an entire section of people for talking during a point. So you can probably guess how blaring the country music staple “Cotton-Eye Joe” during a top-5 matchup went down.

The rude, but hilarious interruption came on Saturday during a semifinal match between No. 1 seeded Iga Swiatek and No. 4 seeded Jessica Pegula at the Canadian Open. During a critical point, with Pegula up 4-3 in a second-set tiebreak and three points from an upset, Pegula tried to hit a lob over Swiatek at the net.

As the ball came down, the fast-paced lyrics “If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eye Joe” rang through Montreal’s IGA Stadium and drew gasps from the crowd. The point was immediately suspended as cameras caught Pegula in disbelief.

The point was replayed, but the bizarre moment became a turning point in the match when Swiatek won 12 straight points to take not just the tiebreaker, but the first two games of the third set. Fortunately, Pegula recovered from there and notched the upset with a 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4 win.

She had a laugh about the moment after the match.

Pegula will face the winner of a semifinal match between Elena Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova on Sunday.

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