Set Points, Rio Olympics Day 4: Puig’s Olympic journey continues, Svitolina stuns Serena

Set PointsTake a bow, Monica Puig! The 22-year-old Puerto Rican thrashed the number three seed and French Open champion, Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-1 6-1 in just 65 minutes. It’s yet another great WTA storyline in 2016 and this one still has legs…

Monica has spoken about her joy for the Olympics and this was captured wonderfully in the piece linked below by Lindsay Gibbs.

Monica Puig will play Laura Siegemund in the quarter-finals, guaranteeing that one of them will be in a medal match. I’ll let that one sink in for you…

And my take on it? Awesome! Both Puig and Siegemund have had fantastic years and while it’s not the quarter-final that anyone expected, it will be no doubt be fiercely contested. I’m fascinated to see who grabs this opportunity.

Puig’s win over Muguruza was not the biggest upset of the day as Elina Svitolina stunned the world number one, Serena Williams, 6-4 6-3. I went to bed with Svitolina leading by a set and a break, but I still expected Serena to come through. Eight double faults and 37 unforced errors didn’t help Serena’s cause, but many congrats to Elina for securing the win having failed to beat Kerber in Montreal from a winning position.

From a set and a break down, Petra Kvitova battled back to book her place in the Olympic quarter-finals with a superb 4-6 6-4 6-4 victory over Ekaterina Makarova…. Happy Petra is everything 🙂

Not only was it the first time that Kvitova had won three matches in a row since Stuttgart but also the first time she had fought back from a set down since her win over Monica Niculescu. Kvitova plays Svitolina in Wednesday’s night match on Centre Court.

We now know that one of Svitolina, Kvitova, Puig or Siegemund will win at least a silver medal… wow!

In an enthralling contest on court 1, Johanna Konta outlasted Svetlana Kuznetsova, 3-6 7-5 7-5 in three hours and nine minutes. This was one of the best matches of the week so far! Kuznetsova had her chances to put this match to bed in two sets but Konta produced some stunning tennis with her back against the wall down break point. In the end, Konta’s bold shotmaking won through Kuznetsova’s tenacious defence. A hold from *0-40 at 5-5 in the third set was huge for Konta.

Konta plays Angelique Kerber in the quarter-finals after the German player defeated Sam Stosur, 6-0 7-5. Things weren’t going great for Sam…

But Stosur improved and prolonged the match, breaking Kerber when serving for the match with a peak game. She couldn’t consolidate with a hold though as Kerber finished off the last two games. A full match preview for Kerber-Konta can be found HERE).

Madison Keys is winning a lot of tennis matches. The American won her 33rd match of the year, hanging tough in the decider to beat Carla Suárez Navarro, 6-3 3-6 6-3. Keys is now 11-3 in three set matches in 2016 and moves forward to play Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals.

Kasatkina defeated Sara Errani in the third round, 7-5 6-2. In a wild first set, Kasatkina let a 3-0 lead slip as Errani served for the first set at *5-4. Kasatkina broke back immediately and then won the big points at the end, prevailing in two deuce games. There were six breaks of serve in the second set but it was Kasatkina who had the two vital holds to book her place in the quarters.

So Keys v Kasatkina… count me in! This should be a fun clash of styles and i’m honestly happy whoever makes it to the semi-finals and therefore a medal match. The edge for me with Keys.

 

In doubles, it was a great day for the Czechs as Safarova-Strycova and Hlavackova-Hradecka both won through to quarter-finals. After the disappointment of having to retire from her singles, i’m thrilled to see Lucie was able to play her her doubles with Bara and win!

And finally, the mixed doubles draw was announced on Tuesday. I love how the Olympic Tennis account was announcing the partnerships one by one. My favourite pairing has to be Nadal and Muguruza! Venus is also in action with Rajeev Ram. It’s a shame that some super pairs (Ivanovic-Zimonjic and Murray-Watson top two alternates) couldn’t even make it into the draw. For the full draw click HERE. Mixed doubles action begins on Wednesday…

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29 thoughts on “Set Points, Rio Olympics Day 4: Puig’s Olympic journey continues, Svitolina stuns Serena

  1. I knew it was too good to be true when Puig and Kasatkina beat Muguruza and Errani and Kuznetsova was a set up against Konta. I had a baaaad feeling.
    I’m not a superstitious person but every match Serena has lost in the past eighteen months has been when I haven’t been able to watch her because of work commitments. I nearly stayed up last night but was due in work today at 6 so decided against it.

    I hope Puig or Kasatkina take a medal. Or both.

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    • I stayed up for some of it but still expected Serena to come back. Fascinated to see who gets the medals, I think Puig will win one. It would be classic Kvitova if she went and won the gold after the year she’s been through! Right now, it’s hard to look past Kerber for the gold.

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      • The Tennis Olympic winners have always been a bit odd, really. Dementieva winning Gold in 2008 is completely banana’s in retrospect, and her winning silver in 2000 is even more bizarre!
        I just don’t think the surface or conditions favour Petra at all.

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      • Having said that it’s difficult who else could really pose a threat to Kerber without getting nervous. As much as I love Puig and Kasatkina and think they have the games to do it, I just can’t see them not feeling the pressure!

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      • James said, “It would be classic Kvitova if she went and won the gold after the year she’s been through!”

        It’s looking a strong possibility right now! I think Madison’s next, and she could be a tough opponent for Petra though I think Petra will win if she carries on playing like she did against Elina.

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      • CORRECTION; I’ve just seen that Monica Puig’s her next opponent. Monica’s clearly going to have to play her best tennis to stand a chance against Petra in this form. Angie Kerber vs Maddi Keys should be an interesting match too.

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  2. Lucka Safarova is really big fighter, her only food in last three days was a few bananas, but Strycova pushed her through the match. This is really some story here in Czech Republic. So proud of her to go there and play tennis with no energy what so ever.. The other Czech pair H+H are thrilled to be there, Hradecka is everything but not fit and still compete. I dont really know why she plays mix doubles, hopefully is she getting better. Also Petra Kvitova is going deep, I think she will outplay Svitolina tonight, there is big difference when she plays pro Czech colours. Looking forward for previews, 😉

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    • I think Svitolina *could* upset Kvitova. She’s beaten her before and their last match was a 3 setter. Not to mention Kvitova is coming off a 3 hour match when she isn’t particularly fit. But then she could turn up guns ablazing, as is Petra…

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      • Yeah agree, a lot depends on Kvitova but they’ve played some tight matches before and Svitolina is capable of taking advantage. I’m going Petra in three but of the four QFs, it’s the one I am least certain about.

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      • I’m going
        Keys d Kasatkina in 3
        Svitolina d Kvitova in 3
        Puig d Siegemund in 2
        Kerber d Konta in 2

        I think Keys could definitely overpower Daria and win in 2 but she’s coming off two long 3 setters and she’s had real lapses in concentration in both. I think Kasatkina has a real shot at winning if she keeps Madison off rhythm.

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  3. Venus, Serena, Muguruza, Radwanska all out, what a disaster!!!

    I never expected Muguruza to fall apart like this after winning the French Open.

    I am happy now that the Olympics wont affect players rankings.

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    • I’m thinking that is part of the problem though, if it wont affect the ranking, what is the incentive to come to Rio? A brief holiday paid for by the nation, or some patriotic fervor (why else would Djokovic be crying).

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      • Well for Serena and Djokovic it’s about history. A Gold for Djokovic gives him something Federer never managed. A second Gold for Serena makes her the most awarded female tennis player.

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  4. On another note, not surprised that Hingis and Mirza have split, it was good while it lasted, I heard Hingis will play with Coco while Mirza will play with Strycova!

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    • Coco and Hingis?! How random is that?…
      Martina always did have trouble sticking with a partner. Or perhaps Mirza grew tired of her.

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      • 😀 Random? No way, she likes partners who can hit it hard( strictly tennis here). Kind of balances her style of smarts and finesse. Granted, she seems to have been on a good path with Timea Bacs, Coco is the type of partner she likes, mighty serve and hard hitting baseliner. However, Coco is currently working her way up the singles ladder so may be some conflict up the road. Will she be able to give Martina as much of her time as Sania did. Mind you, Sania was also a very ‘mature’ thinking kind of woman, we’ll see.

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      • I agree Hingis like hard-hitting partners, so Coco is not really randome. Mirza is being smart choosing Strycova

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  5. I wonder what difference the day off will make to performance today. Konta, Keys and Kvitova shouldn’t feel as exhausted after their last matches as they must have yesterday. But in my experience you actually feel it more in the muscles the second day after playing a match, so they may be pretty sore and stiff today.

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      • I also find it’s much easier to power through and keep your energy and intensity up when you’re exercising every day. When you’re forced to sit out a day it can really disrupt your rhythm. We shall see. What time are they expecting to start today?

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      • Starting at same time (3pm UK time) but strangely the women’s matches have moved around so Kerber-Konta on Centre (2nd on), Keys-Kasatkina on Court 1 (1st up) and Kvitova-Svitolina now on court 2 (2nd up). Puig-Siegemund still on court 3 (2nd up).

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