Set Points, Rio Olympics Day 8: Monica Puig is the Olympic Champion!

Set PointsMONICA PUIG.

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…

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3 thoughts on “Set Points, Rio Olympics Day 8: Monica Puig is the Olympic Champion!

  1. A wonderful win from Monica. Who would have thought at the beginning of the tournament that she’d be the gold medal winner? Not me, that’s for sure. I’m glad I paid some attention to the tennis now despite all the other sports that are on at the moment.

    And I’ll bet she’ll have a warm welcome when she gets back to San Juan; she deserves it too! I think it was Gigi Fernandez who said she wouldn’t be surprised if they rename the city Monica (my guess is the sports stadium).

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  2. Amazing match yesterday. Monica just hit the line every single time and that’s what broke Kerber’s spirit. You could see how she lost cinfidence throughout the match when Puig just kept on playing like that no matter how many chances she’d missed. Amazing.
    I fear though that her style of play is a bit dicey and there will be rough patches where every single ball will be an inch too long.
    And for Kerber, I am sure, ijn a couple of weeks she’ll realize that it just wasn’t meant to be. Some stories are just too good. As I see it, during the match she sat back and focused too much on her defensive shots. She tends to do that against big hitters. Not as much as she used to but still…she should have gone more after Puig’s second serve.
    But anyway there was not much she could have done. As you say, she was just outplayd. (Btw. if there’s some typos in my post, i apologize, I bruised my right hand during the Delpo 3rd set tie breka and had to go to the hopital.)

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  3. Congrats to Monica!!!! Although gutted for Angie I loved the storyline and Monica’s reactions afterwaeds. That was truly amazing to witness!! And thanks for referring to that interview. I know some people would say this was not a nice handshake but they should ask themselves what they would react like in that situation. In the German interview she said the nicest things about Monica and her mind blowing performance and gave all the credit to her. I’ve seen another interview where she said that her MTO had nothing to do with her defeat as it was all Monica’s performance. I don’t think there would have been anyone to beat her because she clearly was on a mission! 🙂

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