Still loaded with endorphins and adrenalin, Danielle Collins went along with the premise.
“Yeah,” Collins agreed in Friday’s on-court interview. “I definitely think my tennis reflects some of my personality.
“I came from nothing, and when you come from nothing you have nothing to lose.”
It was an irresistible soundbite. The Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd gobbled it up, hollering their approval. Collins – the daughter of a gardener and a grade-school teacher – was their adopted underdog, snarl sharpened by adversity.
The theory is a well-worn one. Mean streets breed a winning streak. Boxing great Marvin Hagler summed it up in words. “It’s hard to get up at 6am when you’re wearing silk pyjamas,” he said.
The Williams sisters’ journey from Compton to champions bore it out in gold.
Jessica Pegula Is Different.
The American number one, who faces Petra his Kvitova in Round 16 on Monday (17:00 CET), came from the other side of the track.
Pegula is the daughter of Terry Pegula, an oil and gas tycoon who is worth $6.7 billion (£5.82 billion) according to Forbes.
It is wealth beyond wealth. But Pegula has few guarantees on the pitch, she says. “I didn’t want to be seen as a given,” she told BBC Sport.
“I think she’s definitely spurred on the tennis world,” she said.
“There are people out there making assumptions that they may not understand.”
“I remember wondering why she wanted to keep doing this,” Kim Pegula said of her daughter in an interview with ESPN last year.
“There are other women whose families rely on her through tennis, but she doesn’t care about them. She doesn’t have to do this or her life.” will be much easier.”
Pegula was out. Unlike her peers, she had a choice. The skincare line she founded, the charity she works with. She went on to another career, wore silk pajamas, and was able to prove an old theory correct. “There was definitely a time when I was 23 or 24 when I kept hurting myself trying to get closer to the top 150 or top 100, but that never happened.
“The last surgery I had was definitely the lowest point.