Tennis has produced hundreds of brilliant stories in the past but there is one that tops them all and may never be topped and it involves a lady called Monica Puig from Puerto Rica.
In January Puig began the season ranked at 92 in the world and quickly made a mark on the tour qualifying for Sydney and making the final before being defeated by Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final and the target was always to qualify for Rio and beginning the year nearly outside the top 100 would have been difficult.
I saw Puig do well at Nottingham making the semi-finals. I said at the time I was surprised that when she lost she jetted off to Mallorca and then less than a week later was back in England competing in Eastbourne where she was once again defeated in the semi-finals but stole the headlines. Puig plays like a player who is just over 6 foot tall however she is actually 5 foot 7 so to see this commanding style from the baseline in Eastbourne was great to see. Puig’s whole game right now is at a consistently great level. The standout shot in her game is the backhand which in Rio was on fire throughout the week but it’s not her only strength as her all round game including her forehand, serve and net play is solid and sat at 34 in the world I see top 20 by this time next year!
Just last month Monica got herself a new dog and no prizes for guessing the name she called it? Rio!
To beat the reigning French Open, Australian Open and a two time Wimbledon champion on way to winning Olympic Gold is no fluke at all and could be the start of something special for the 22 year old.
Monica is down to play in Cincinnati but I’d be very surprised if she does however it does bode an opportunity to increase ranking ahead of the US Open just a couple of places away from being seeded for the tournament.
I don’t think we will see a story like this for quite some time, the magnitude of what Monica has done is indescribable and you’d honestly have to say she is one to watch in the city that never sleeps when the US Open begins later this month!