2018 News


Puig Stuns Wozniacki in Comeback Win


By Tucker Verdi

Tennis is a game of momentum. The can pendulum swing back and forth between two players battling it out on the court no matter how the match had gone up until then.

Never was that more apparent than late last night on Stadium Court.

World No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki, the reigning Australian Open champion, broke all three of her opponent’s service games to capture the first set 6-0. It took 25 minutes and it appeared the match, which didn’t start until almost 10:30pm, would be a quick one.

But her opponent was Monica Puig, and Puig had something else in mind.

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican knows a little something about gritting it out to defy the odds. She had a masterful run a little less than two years ago at the Rio Olympics with wins over Grand Slam champs Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, and Angelique Kerber en route to the first gold medal for her country.

Puig, who calls the Miami Open her hometown event, pushed the Danish superstar on the opening service game in the second set, making it clear she wasn’t going away easy. The critical break for Puig came at 2-all, and she held on for a tough 6-4 second set win.

The pendulum had swung and the improbable suddenly seemed possible as the crowd that had stuck around following Puig’s bagel in the first set came to life and cheered the fiery player on.

Wozniacki had put on a clinical in the first set, but Puig seemed to feed off the new energy and hit powerful winner after winner down both sidelines.

The crowd favorite broke Wozniacki’s opening serve in the third, and then took a 4-1 lead before the former World No. 1 broke back. But a ball off the net as Puig attempted to serve out the match provided her the opportunity to smash a forehand at an open court and seal a most unlikely victory.

Puig attributes her success to something called “Pica Power.” Her identity is defined by her heritage, something she embraces as the only Puerto Rican player on tour.

There’s no doubt that “Pica Power” helped her engineer this come-from-behind win. In a draw where anything can happen and a lot already has, don’t underestimate “Pica Power” taking Puig a lot further.

About the Miami Open presented by Itaú

The 2018 Miami Open will be played March 19-April 1 at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Miami. The two-week combined event is owned and operated by IMG. The Miami Open is one of nine ATP Masters 1000 Series events on the ATP calendar, a Premier Mandatory event on the WTA calendar, and features the top men's and women's tennis players in the world. The tournament is widely regarded as the most glamorous on the ATP and WTA calendars because of its exotic Miami location, thriving nightlife, five-star hotels and restaurants, beautiful weather and beaches, and its celebrity appeal. For ticket information, call +1.305.442.3367 or visit www.miamiopen.com.

About Itaú

Itau is the largest Latin America privately owned bank, with approximately 94,000 employees and operations in 19 countries throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Itaú’s relationship with sport goes back to the 1970s, when Itaú first sponsored the Itaú Tennis Cup in Brazil in 1970. Itaú has been a sponsor of the Miami Open for the last six years, and also sponsors the Rio Open, the only combined ATP/WTA event in South America. Itaú also supports the Brazilian Women’s Tennis Circuit, only female professional tournament in South America, certified by the Brazilian Tennis Confederation (CBT) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as the Tennis Institute Training Center, responsible for the development of young, new talent.

About IMG

IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company represents and manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of sports media. IMG also specializes in sports training; league development; and marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions.