In a tremendous women’s singles final, Puig defeated the world number two, Angelique Kerber, 6-4 4-6 6-1. I was absolutely blown away by Puig’s performance, particularly in the third set. It’s up there with some of the best individual performances that I have witnessed in my time as a WTA fan. Her ball striking was truly exceptional, hitting with immaculate depth and stunning angles. I questioned beforehand whether Puig would be able to hit through Kerber on this slow court but oh my how she proved me wrong!
A huge congratulations to Monica! Her reactions to winning gold were wonderful. I really hope that she can build on this win. She’s had a great year on the WTA tour but the level she has managed to produce this week is above and beyond. I’m excited for Monica’s future…
Petra Kvitova won the bronze medal, defeating Madison Keys, 7-5 2-6 6-2. As chuffed as I am for Petra, I just want to give Madison a hug. Madison went 2/20 on break points through her last two matches. Kvitova won a tight opening set but Keys levelled up in the second set and did a good job at powering through the frustration.
Kvitova though played a secure third set and won two big games at 1-0 and then 2-0 where both players had game points. Keys got on the board but had too much ground to make up after the ragged start to the decider as Petra enjoyed her best result of the year.
It’s been a tough year for Petra who reached just her second semi-final of the year and won four matches in a row for the first time in 2016. It was clear to see at the end how much this meant to her… there were some tears!
And here’s the medal podium photo!
For Kerber, she was simply outplayed by Puig. Perhaps she could have tried to inject a bit more variety to throw Puig off her rhythm but the Puerto Rican was on an absolute roll. I’m not sure if there was much more she could have done. While I was a little disappointed by the handshake, I think it’s important to put into perspective the disappointment that Angie must have been feeling. It’s easy to judge but you cannot put yourself in that position. Angie had some nice words for Monica after the match.
And spare a thought for Madison Keys. Chin up, Madison! You did yourself and country proud this week 🙂
Lucie Safarova and Barbora Strycova won the bronze medal in the women’s doubles beating Lucie Hradecka and Andrea Hlavackova, 7-5 6-1… absolutely CHUFFED for Lucie and Bara!
Again though, i’m feeling for 4th place! It was a tough one for Andrea and Lucie, particularly having had match points in their semi-final match against Martina Hingis and Timea Bacsinszky. The pair had a match point but Hlavackova took a ball to the eye. I really hope she’s going to be OK because she was clearly struggling in yesterday’s match :-(.
Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram advanced to the mixed doubles final where they will play Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Jack Sock! Venus’s joy at the end was infectious, this was wonderful to see!
In the first of the men’s semi-finals, Andy Murray comfortably overcame Kei Nishikori, 6-1 6-4. Since the 2014 US Open, Nishikori has won just one out of 19 matches against top five opposition. Murray set up the deciding match point on the rally of the match, which is linked below (may only be for UK users – sorry!).
And if today wasn’t enough, the second of the men’s semi-finals was an absolute THRILLER as Juan Martin del Potro edged Rafael Nadal, 5-7 6-4 7-6(5). While I admit that I haven’t watched as much ATP this year, this surely had to be one of the ATP matches of the year?! Words can’t even describe how happy I am for DelPo after ALL he’s been through. This Olympics has produced some truly remarkable storylines…