The woman’s side of the Olympic draw was full of the feel good.
Monica Puig: Gold
My favorite feel good story of the Olympics. A girl who won her first and so far only WTA title in 2010, and hasn’t reach the third and fourth round of a slam, ends up winning the Gold medal at the Olympics. How much better can it get?
Not only was she the first woman and first person to ever secure a gold medal for her nation of Peurto Rico, but also the third Puerto Rican to compete for a medal. Her matches weren’t a walk in the park either. Facing opponents like Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, and finally Angelique Kerber in a dramatic (6-4), (4-6) ,(6-1) three set match made this Olympics a dream run for Monica.
Do we expect to see Monica Puig in future tournaments. Yes. She is currently ranked 34 in the world, and is only 22 years old. With the age of success in tennis only rising, I am quite confident we will be seeing more of Monica.
Angelique Kerber: Silver
The world number 2 was obviously the favorite once Serena was out and rushing to Cincinnati to get enough points to maintain her number one ranking. Unfortunately, the stars were aligned for Monica Puig and she was responsible for breaking Kerber’s straight set record in the Gold medal match.
Monica started out strong, winning the first set, but Kerber isn’t number 2 in the world for nothing and the momentum was bound to shift. And it did in the second. But even then, it didn’t seem like Kerber was in control. It was anyone’s match. At that point I asked myself, experience or the newbie? The favorite or the underdog? I didn’t have to wait long, it was answered for me when Puig took the third set 6-1.
Petra Kvitova: Bronze
Petra secured the Bronze, and I was actually surprised she did so well, especially when the court was so slow, but the slow court did have a positive flip side. Since Kvitova isn’t the best mover, the slow court made it easier for her to reach the ball even though her balls didn’t have the same push.
Madison Keys vs. Kvitova was a match of the ball bashers. Both hitting their hearts out and because of the court the rallies were of decent length as well. At the end, Kvitova was the better basher, and with the use of some spins Kvitova bested the American. Ultimately though, the match was a game of momentum and nerves. Keys was unable to control her nerves and convert 2 set points in the first set, losing 7-5. Then in the second the change of momentum was so drastic that Petra Kvitova lost four games in a row, and ended up losing the set quite dismally 6-2. The third set was another severe momentum change with Petra controlling the points and winning the final set 6-2. A bronze medal isn’t a bad way to end a dry spell since a 2014 Wimbledon win.