PARIS, May 29 — World number three Jessica Pegula is not yet a part of the burgeoning “Big Three” rivalry on the women’s tour but the American said Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina had earned the right to receive such recognition.

World number one Swiatek, second-ranked Sabalenka and no. 4 Rybakina have won seven tournaments between them this year.

Swiatek has claimed three major titles, including two French Opens, and Sabalenka won her maiden Grand Slam at the Australian Open this year.

Rybakina triumphed at last year’s Wimbledon and the three-way rivalry will continue at this week’s French Open with the world number one spot up for grabs.

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“They’ve earned that right. They’ve been playing really solid tennis. Iga, we already know from last year. Aryna I felt like broke through in Australia as far as like winning a slam, but I think her results have always been up there,” Pegula said.

“Then Elena at the end of last year as well. I mean, to see them being so consistent, I think they’ve earned that right. Obviously ranking-wise I’m still three, but I’m sure that could change. I could go up or down, whatever. It depends on results.”

Asked about how she feels about being left out of the conversation about the “Big Three”, Pegula added: “Hopefully, I can be part of that, but I think either way it’s still great for women’s tennis. Especially because everyone always talks about the inconsistency and all this stuff.

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“I just tend to think it’s because we have a lot of really great depth. It’s nice to see them playing really, really good tennis and I feel like it’s good for the sport as well.” — Reuters