Sara Errani vs. Monica Puig, Roland Garros R1 Preview

??? Roland Garros, R1 preview + prediction:
?? Monica Puig vs. ?? (Q) Sara Errani

Sara Errani will be searching for her first ever victory over Monica Puig when the pair clash at the opening round stage at Roland Garros. Puig has won all 4 of the previous meetings between the pair, but heads into this match in poor form. It is Errani who heads into this match as the favourite despite her miserable record against the Puerto Rican, thanks to her solid form during the qualification stages in Pairs and greater reliability on the red dirt.

Monica Puig has a dismal 2-10 win/loss record in 2020 (including exhibition matches). Puig arrives at Roland Garros short of match practise given that she hasn’t played any clay court matches since the tour restart. Puig was last in action in New York where she was beaten in the opening round of the qualifying stage at the Western & Southern Open by Katie Volynets, followed by an opening round loss to Margarita Gasparyan at the US Open. The good news for Puig is that Roland Garros has been her most successful Grand Slam, the 27-year-old reached the third round in Paris last year.

Sara Errani enters this opening round clash with form on her side after successfully navigating her way through the qualifying draw with 3 victories. The 33-year-old moved through the qualifying draw without dropping a set, claiming straight set wins over Ekaterine Gorgodze, Eva Guerrero Alvarez and Tereza Martincova. Roland Garros has been the Italian’s most successful major. The Italian reached the final in 2012 and progressed to at least the quarter-final stage 3 years in row after her run to the final.

Monica Puig holds a 4-0 head-to-head record over Errani, 3 of those victories were commanding straight set victories, including a 6-0 6-1 victory on green clay in Charleston last year.

I’m going to side with Errani here despite her horrible head-to-head record against Puig. Puig has not won a tour level match in 2020, she hasn’t won a tour level match on clay since Roland Garros last year. Errani is battled-hardened having won 3 matches in the qualifying draw at a tournament she has had great success at in the past. Puig’s powerful game has clearly caused Errani problems in the past, but it is unlikely Puig will be able to consistently hit through Errani on a slow clay court given her recent form and lack of confidence. Expect Errani to be too solid here.

Prediction: Sara Errani to defeat Monica Puig in 2 sets

Monica Puig vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Australian Open R1 Preview

?? Australian Open, R1 Preview
?? Monica Puig vs. ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Monica Puig and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova loomed as two of the most dangerous unseeded players heading into the Australian Open main draw, the pair will go head-to-head in what should be a fierce opening round clash. Puig and Pavlyuchenkova are both extremely dangerous at their best but both are very inconsistent, which of the two will pull it together in Melbourne?

Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in action during her second-round match at the 2019 Sydney International WTA Premier tennis tournament

Puig and Pavlyuchenkova have both made fairly disappointing starts to their respective seasons.

Monica Puig’s only 2 victories in 2019 have been against Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Puig was beaten in straight sets by Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round in Auckland, more recently Puig lost to Anett Kontaveit in 3 sets in the opening round of the Sydney International having secured a lucky-loser spot after a 1-6 0-6 demolition at the hands of Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova started her season in Shenzhen where she crushed Ana Bogdan in the first round before surprisingly succumbing to Veronika Kudermetova in the second round. Pavlyuchenkova also competed in Hobart last week where she was beaten in the opening round by Vera Lapko in 3 sets.

The only previous match between the pair took place during Monica Puig’s stunning gold medal run in Rio back in 2016, Puig won that match in straight sets.

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Petra Kvitova vs. Monica Puig, Madrid R2 Preview

Mutua Madrid Open, R2 Preview
?? (10) Petra Kvitova vs. ?? (wc) Monica Puig

The in-form Petra Kvitova will be back in action on Tuesday in Madrid as she come up against Puerto Rican wild-card Monica Puig for a spot in the third round. Kvitova is on a roll at the moment, Kvitova arrived in Madrid fresh from winning her third title of the year in Prague. The two-time former champion in Madrid is one of two players this week aiming to be the first to win the Madrid title on 3 separate occasions, the other being the top ranked Simona Halep. Can Puig stop the red-hot Kvitova?

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in action at the 2018 Mutua Madrid Open

Kvitova and Puig advanced to the second round in Madrid in contrasting fashion. Kvitova cruised past Lesia Tsurenko 6-1 6-2 despite having less than a day in Madrid to prepare for her opening round match, Conversely, Puig laboured through her first round match, beating Zarina Diyas 6-4 2-6 6-2, ultimately it was a decent win for Puig against a solid opponent.

Surprisingly it is Puig who has won the only two previous matches between the pair, both in 2016. A critical 6-1 1-6 6-3 win at the semi-final stage of the Rio Olympics and a 1-6 6-4 6-4 win in Tokyo a few months later. This will be their first career meeting on a clay court.

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Monica Puig vs Samantha Stosur, Miami R1 Preview

Miami Open, ????? R1 Preview
?? Monica Puig vs ?? Samantha Stosur

Monica Puig and Samantha Stosur will renew hostilities when they meet at the opening round stage of the 2018 Miami Open. Puig and Stosur played out a dramatic opening round clash at the Australian Open earlier this year, a match where Puig came from a set down and saved match point on route to a memorable victory. Undoubtedly, Stosur’s loss to Puig in Melbourne was a devastating one, the Aussie will head into this match in Miami with revenge on her mind.

Monica Puig is still yet to claim back-to-back main draw victories in 2018. The Puerto Rican continues to be a disappointment, we know that the Rio gold medallists best is good but we scarcely see her best tennis, certainly not on a consistent basis. Puig will hope she can finally build some momentum this week in Miami, a second home to the 24-year-old, certainly conditions she will feel comfortable in.

Sam Stosur is also yet to win back-to-back main draw matches in 2018 and has for the most part continued to underachieve just like Puig has. Like Puig, Stosur was eliminated in the second round in Indian Wells last week. Stosur started the event with a positive 3 set win over Lauren Davis before suffering a straight set win to Kristina Mladenovic. Stosur had leads in each set in her loss to Mladenovic so it was a typically disappointing result and manner in which the Aussie lost.




Stosur holds a 4-2 head-to-head record over Puig. However, it is Puig who has won the last couple of matches between the pair. Puig defeated Stosur 6-4 6-4 in Sydney in 2016, most recently Puig beat Stosur 4-6 7-6 6-4 at the Australian Open earlier this year. So, both can take confidence from the head-to-head record.

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Anastasija Sevastova vs Monica Puig, Indian Wells R2 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R2 Preview
?? (21) Anastasija Sevastova vs ?? Monica Puig

Anastasija Sevastova and Monica Puig will meet for the first time when they go head-to-head at the second round stage of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. The 21st seeded Sevastova received a bye into the second round whilst Puig earned her spot in the second round with a hard-fought straight set win over Beatriz Haddad Maia. This should be a fairly close match between two contrasting styles of tennis.

Sevastova arrives in Indian Wells in average form. Sevastova’s results have not been great ever since her devastating quarter-final loss to Sloane Stephens at the U.S Open last year, a modest 8-9 win/loss record since that match. Sevastova’s middle eastern swing did not go to plan, her most recent result was an opening round loss to Ekaterina Makarova in Dubai. Sevastova led that match by a set and a break in that match, another tough loss for the Latvian.

Monica Puig is yet to find her range in 2018. The Puerto Rican has not won back-to-back main draw matches in 2018, something she will be keen to achieve in this second round match in Indian Wells. Puig progressed to the second round with a gutsy 6-3 7-6 win over Beatriz Haddad Maia, one of Puig’s better performances of the season thus far. Puig trailed 0-4 in the second set but did very well to stay composed and ultimately close out the match in straight sets.

It will be interesting to see how this match-up pans out in the first career meeting between the pair, the crafty, consistent Sevastova against the dynamic, powerful Puig.

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Monica Puig vs Beatriz Haddad Maia, Indian Wells R1 Preview

BNP Paribas Open, ??? Indian Wells R1 Preview
?? Monica Puig vs ?? Beatriz Haddad Maia

Monica Puig and Beatriz Haddad Maia will go head-to-head for the first time when they meet at the opening round stage of the 2018 BNP Paribas Open. Puig and Haddad Maia have had very similar results in 2018, however it is Puig who is falling down the rankings whilst Haddad Maia is steadily rising. Both will see this as a winnable opening round match, expect a competitive encounter.

Monica Puig has only won a couple of main draw matches in 2018. The Puerto Rican continues to be one of the biggest disappointments on tour, continually not living up to her abilities. Puig arrives in Indian fresh off a second round showing in Acapulco last week. Puig escaped an early scare against Dayana Yastremska in the opening round before easily succumbing to Rebecca Peterson in the second round. Puig has an overall 2-3 win/loss record in main draw matches in 2018, a disappointing start to the year given she ended 2017 quite well.

Beatriz Haddad Maia also arrives in Indian Wells off a second round exit in Acapulco. Haddad Maia defeated Heather Watson in the opening round before succumbing to Kristina Mladenovic in a tight 3 set battle. Haddad Maia has yet to win consecutive matches in 2018 but it must be noted that the Brazilian has been dealt numerous tough draws in 2018. This will be Haddad Maia’s first appearance in Indian Wells.

It will be interesting to see how this match pans out in the first career meeting between the pair.

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Monica Puig vs Mirjana Lucic-Baroni U.S Open R1 Preview

US Open, ????? R1 Preview + Prediction
(29) ?? Mirjana Lucic-Baroni vs ?? Monica Puig

An interesting opening round clash from Flushing Meadows on Monday sees Mirjana Lucic-Baroni take on Monica Puig in what will be a battle of two of the most inconsistent players on tour. Lucic-Baroni and Puig have both struggled to find their best tennis during the lead-up to New York, both remain dangerous and capable of significantly raising their level at any given tournament, Puig has won both of the previous matches between the pair so she will be able to take some kind of confidence into this match despite her recent poor form.

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Taylor Townsend vs Monica Puig, Cincinnati R1 Preview

Western & Southern Open, ??? Cincinnati R1 Preview + Prediction
(Q) ?? Taylor Townsend vs (Q) ?? Monica Puig

Monica Puig has had an extremely disappointing season, time is running out for Puig to turn things around in 2017. The 2016 Rio Olympics show that Puig can turn things on at any moment, Puig comes up against Taylor Townsend in the opening round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday. Townsend and Puig both reached the main draw in Cincinnati by progressing through a tough qualifying draw. This will be the first career meeting between Townsend and Puig.

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Jelena Ostapenko vs Monica Puig, Roland Garros R2 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R2 Preview + Prediction
?? Jelena Ostapenko vs ?? Monica Puig

An intriguing second round clash at Roland Garros sees Jelena Ostapenko come up against Monica Puig, two talented, huge hitters. Both Ostapenko and Puig have a great amount of potential but both severely struggle with inconsistency both within matches and throughout tournaments. Both ladies will see this match as a great opportunity to advance to the third round in Paris, expect a fierce contest.

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Roberta Vinci vs Monica Puig, Roland Garros R1 Preview

Roland Garros, ??? R1 Preview + Prediction
(31) ?? Roberta Vinci vs ?? Monica Puig

An intriguing opening round clash in Paris sees Roberta Vinci come up against Monica Puig. Vinci is arguably one the most vulnerable seeded players in the draw whilst Puig is one of the most dangerous unseeded players in the draw, making for an entertaining first round clash at Roland Garros.

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