Monica Puig has done it again…
The 25-year-old Puerto Rican tennis player stunned No.2 seed Caroline Wozniacki for the second time this year in the third round of the Wuhan Open, pounding her way into the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (10), 7-5 win in two hours and 24 minutes.
Though Puig had trailed Wozniacki 2-3 in the overall head-to-head before today, she had scored a memorable upset in their most recent meeting, coming from a bagel set down to defeat the Australian Openchampion 0-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the second round of the Miami Open. Puig also came into today’s match in strong form, having won 13 of her past 16 matches – including a semifinal showing in New Haven and a quarterfinal berth in Québec City.
“I feel like we’ve played each other several times now,” Puig said. “I think Wozniacki is maybe one of the only players I’ve played so frequently against on the tour. We definitely have had our fair share of battles throughout the times that we’ve played.
“We both know each other’s game very well… I just had to try to stay focused and be really aggressive on those certain key points that I wasn’t today at some times, but I was happy I was able to get it out.”
With the win, Puig, who scored 37 winners during the match, has progressed to the first Premier 5 quarterfinal of her career.
“That’s the one thing I’m trying to work on with my team as much as possible: no matter what’s going on in the match, just continue like if nothing ever happened,” Puig said of seeing several match points come and go. “That’s not always easy, especially in moments where you want to really pull your hair out.
“Honestly, on the match points that I had, I thought she played really aggressive. She really took it to me. But whenever I lost those points, would go back and go, ‘There’s another point to play, still tennis left to be played. Don’t get caught up in that one point because that one point, either you’re going to let it dictate the rest of the match or you’re going to put it in the past and move forward.’”
In the quarterfinals, Puig – who sealed the fifth consecutive Centre Court match in which the lower-ranked player emerged the victor in Wuhan today – will face home favorite Wang Qiangin an all-unseeded battle.
“I don’t think I’ve played [Wang] in a tournament, but we have practiced against each other,” Puig said. “She’s a very nice girl. I have a lot of respect for her, especially with what she’s been doing in the past couple weeks. She won last week in Guangzhou.
“Just practicing with her, she hits a big ball. She can do whatever she wants with the ball if you give her the opportunity. She’s definitely going to be a tough test for me, especially her playing at home, she’s going to have the home-court advantage.
“I’m just looking forward to getting out there and continuing to play. I’m having a lot of fun right now. Tomorrow is my birthday, but I just want to enjoy it as much as possible.”