Puerto Rican number one Monica Puig kicked off her 2016 French Open campaign with an impressive win over Olga Govortsova, edging the Belarusian 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes. With this victory, Puig will now go on to meet Germany's Julia Goerges, who upset 2016 Australian Open semifinalist and 20th seed Johanna Konta in straight sets earlier in the day.
Puig Clinches Decisive Break in Twelfth Game
Right from the word "play," it was clear that this first round encounter could prove to be a dramatic one, with both players looking to get in the first strike from the back of the court.
After holding to open the match, it was Puig who was looking to draw first blood, giving herself a break point in the second game. However, Govortsova refused to give in, saving the break point before ultimately going on to hold for 1-all. From there, the Belarusian was seemingly beginning to find her range, some wondrous hitting earning her a break point of her own. But much like Govortsova from the service line, Puig refused to give in and would go on to save that break point--as well as two others later in the game--to hold for a 2-1 lead.
This pattern continued for the remainder of the set until the twelfth game, with both players having their respective chances to earn the elusive break, but both failing to capitalize in key moments.
But in game twelve, the momentum began to shift in favour of the Puerto Rican number one, who had noticeably struggled to make inroads into the Belarusian's service games. In danger of going to a first-set tiebreak, Puig began to raise her level ever so slightly, from the receiving end and was rewarded with her first set point. In the end, the world number 53 proved she needed no second invitation, converting her first set point to clinch the opening set 7-5, seemingly out of nowhere, though she was arguably the more consistent of the two in the latter stages of the set.
Puig Clinches Another Decisive Break in Game Eight, Seals Victory in Straight Sets
The second set began much like the majority of the first, with both players cruising through their service games, with the exception of a few minor blips in between. After the server won the first seven games of the set without even needing to fend off a single break point, it was Puig who was looking to draw first blood in the most crucial of times.
Leading 4-3, the Puerto Rican was beginning to make her move at just the right time while Govortsova's level was slowly beginning to drop, despite her best efforts to break Puig. With some wondrous hitting, the 22-year-old was able to give herself two break points at a crucial stage in the match and much like in the opening set, the world number 53 only needed the one; a crucial break putting her within one game of a berth in the second round.
Having served well all-match, Puig did not falter under the pressure, a comfortable hold to 15 sealing a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 victory in an hour and 17 minutes.
Puig to Meet Goerges in Round Two
With this victory, Puig will now meet Germany's Julia Goerges, a straight sets winner over 20th seed Johanna Konta earlier in the day. The pair have met twice before, with the Puerto Rican winning both of their meetings in Oeiras and Montreal.