Monica Puig can now add champion next to her name. The breakout tennis star became the first Puerto Rican player to win a WTA title as she bested Silvia Soler-Espinosa of Spain, 6-4, 6-3, on Saturday in the Strasbourg International final in France.
“It’s amazing to do this coming from such a small island, where tennis isn’t necessarily recognized as one of the main sports,” Puig said as quoted by the LA Times. “I’m just happy I’m able to be here playing tennis not only for myself, but for my country too.”
Both Puig and her opponent Soler-Espinosa of Spain were facing off in their first ever final together. Monica however came out of the gate razor focused. According to ABC News, the Puerto Rican born Puig was at the top of her game:
“I was very focused and very poised on the court, and I’m very happy how things went. I just went on the court and felt it was my moment. I just had to go there and take it.”
As reported by Fox News, the 20-year-old Puig broke Soler-Espinoza in her first service game. She also “broke twice in the second set, including in the final game.” Overall, Puig dropped only nine points on serve all match, two of which were double-faults, while she did not drop a set en route to her first WTA title.
“I woke up this morning and I felt it. I felt I was going to do something amazing. It was one of those feelings where you just know it’s going to happen, and I played some of the greatest tennis I’ve ever played.”
In order to capture her first WTA title, Monica Puig had to take out extremely worthy competition. She beat out Madison Keys 7-5, 6-3 in the second semifinal. Monica also beat the former champion Andrea Petkovic of Germany in the Strasbourg quarterfinals. Petkovic was the fourth seed in the tournament she won back in 2011, before losing to Puig in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
Last year, Puig turned heads after a terrific upset match played at Wimbeldon in 2013. Monica served up the major upset when she defeated fifth-seeded Sara Errani 6-3, 6-2.
At the time, the 19-year-old, who also made her Grand Slam debut at the French Open earlier that year, became the first woman tennis player from Puerto Rico to reach the third round. Puig will return to the French Open for her next match where she has been drawn against 2010 finalist Sam Stosur.