Jessica Pegula and Iga Swiatek were locked in the heat of battle at the National Bank Open in Canada on Saturday with the winner moving onto the final in a tune-up before the U.S. Open later this month.
The two competitors were in the midst of a second-set tiebreaker. If Pegula won, she would’ve swept the top-ranked female tennis player. If Swiatek won, she would’ve forced a third set. The Montreal tennis fans were locked in as the two traded shots.
Then, the unthinkable happened. The song “Cotton Eye Joe” blared in the loudspeakers.
“’Cotton Eye Joe’ just came on mid-rally,” the broadcaster said. “Oh wow.”
The umpire stopped play after the baffling moment to replay the point.
“I just thought it was funny. I never had that happen, let alone with ‘Cotton Eye Joe.’ I was like is this really happening, right now,” Pegula said. “Of all the songs. It was just like… what is going on?”
Swiatek ended up winning the tiebreaker 7-4 to force a third and decisive set. Pegula put the Polish tennis star away 6-4 and moved on to the final. Pegula broke serve 11 times and was finally to get into the tournament’s final after failing in the semis the last two years.
“It was a great match,” Pegula said. “It was tough. Kind of a roller-coaster. Really up and down, but I’m glad I was able to hold my nerve there at the end.”
Pegula will meet the winner between Elina Rybakina and Liudmila Samsonova on Sunday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.