Monica Puig turned the tables in dramatic fashion on Wednesday with a definitive 6-4 6-4 victory over Aussie home favorite Samantha Stosur. In their previous four meetings, Puig had never even won a set, but today she seemed determined to change that.
With 14 aces, Puig’s service game was her ultimate weapon, and she routinely brought it out to crush Stosur’s spirit at pivotal moments. Early in the match, Stosur’s play was fitful and erratic; she had 13 unforced errors to Puig’s 5 by the middle of the first set. By the end of the set, the Aussie mounted a more deliberate attack, but it was never enough to combat her Puerto Rican opponent’s winning strength. Puig will face Belinda Bencic tomorrow in the semifinals, who took care of Ekaterina Makarova Wednesday night in three sets.
Earlier in the day, Svetlana Kuznetsova sent Sara Errani packing fairly easily after a tightly-contested first set, with the final score being 7-6(1) 6-0. In a match that was close throughout, number one seed Simona Halep tackled a dangerous threat in Karolina Pliskova, finishing 6-4 7-5.
The Romanian did not skate through without troublesome patches: at one point she relinquished eight points in a row, and she also experienced some effects from her lingering Achilles injury early in the second set. Tomorrow, Halep will square off against Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova in the semifinals. (photos: Jimmie48)
Good job Monica! I believe her pre-season training will take her places this year. Good luck in the semis against Bencic. Though it seems she always wears the same blue and white ellesse dress.