2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro SF #1 Preview 🇧🇷
(10) 🇨🇿 Petra Kvitova vs 🇵🇷 Monica Puig
Petra Kvitova and Monica Puig will go head-to-head for the very first time on Friday when they meet at the semi-final stage in Rio. Kvitova and Puig both rocketed through their quarter-finals matches, dropping just two games each to set up an exciting semi-final encounter between two if form players.
Given all of the chaos in the women’s draw in Rio Petra Kvitova has been quite solid. The Czech number 1 has dropped just one set on route to the semi-final stage. Petra started the tournament with convincing straight set wins over Caroline Wozniacki and Timea Babos. Kvitova’s big test was in the third round where she fought from a set and a break down to record a confidence boosting win over Ekaterina Makarova. Petra secured her place in the semi-final’s with a commanding 6-2 6-0 win over Elina Svitolina.
Monica Puig has been the surprise package of the Rio games. The manner in which Puig has reached the semi-finals has been very impressive, especially given this is Puig’s first ever Olympic campaign. Puig has dropped just 14 games in her first 4 matches: winning all of her matches in straight sets and averaging less than 2 games against per set. The Puerto Rican defeated Polona Hercog, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Garbine Muguruza and Laura Siegemund on her way to the final four. Puig’s last two wins were particularly impressive, smashing Muguruza and Siegemund both with a 6-1 6-1 scoreline.
This is a tough match to call, especially given this is the first ever meeting between the pair. It is tough to ignore Puig’s stunning form heading into this match, but Kvitova is the more experienced player, especially at the later stages of big events. I’m going to side with Puig despite her relative inexperience. The slower surface in Rio must suit Puig in this match-up. Both players like to be very aggressive but Puig is a better grinder on a slower surface which could give her the edge here.