home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 23, 2018

Monica Puig

New Haven, Connecticut

M. PUIG/C. Garcia

7-5, 1-6 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. There was some discussion earlier about this being one of the bigger wins, considering the opponent, how many matches you went through qualifying. How do you feel making the semifinals?
MONICA PUIG: This definitely isn't my first rodeo coming through qualifying and getting deep in a tournament. I did it in Sydney in 2016, then in Eastbourne, as well. I'm really happy to be in the semifinal, to be playing the way that I'm playing.

I think those previous experiences and getting this deep in a tournament after playing qualifying definitely helped me stay tough out there, and to, you know, just continue to push along.

Q. How did you shift momentum back in your favor in the first set and then again in the third?
MONICA PUIG: I think in the first set, I just tried to stay solid. I made some easy mistakes there at 3-2 that gave her the advantage to go 5-2. She was also playing solid. Her ball isn't easy to get back. She plays very aggressive, very deep in the court. It was just tough for me.

In the third, I just had to turn the page, new chapter, just start over, just try and, you know, find a pretty consistent form.

Q. Talk a little bit about coming back from your injury this year, how long it took you to get back to where you wanted to be.
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, it was pretty tough? Rome I suffered two tears in my hip. Luckily it wasn't bad enough to require surgery, so that was a positive, kind of good news for my team.

It took me up until I was just getting ready to go to Mallorca or Nottingham, and about two days before leaving I suffered a strain in my quad, so... It was like one setback after the other.

I was miserable. I was so down. I was healthy enough to come back for Wimbledon, but obviously I don't think I was in very good form. It was kind of tough. I did play a really good match against Goerges there in the first round, but it wasn't enough to come away with the win.

Little by little I started feeling better after Wimbledon. I really recovered well, focused on the fitness, then played the Central American Games, got the rust out, played some matches, then just feeling really good at this moment.

Q. How do you mentally go through winning a tough first set, then a collapse in the second? How do you mentally reset? What is that process like?
MONICA PUIG: You just kind of have to forget about it. The first set was very tough. The second set, she started playing better, but I felt like I made some crucial mistakes. I wasn't there in the second set. That really cost me.

But in the third set, I had to really step up my game. If not, it was going to go just like the second set. I had to kind of refocus, reset and say, Okay, from here on out, this is my game plan, and no matter what happens, I have to stick to that.

Q. What do you feel you've been doing particularly well in the last few weeks?
MONICA PUIG: I feel like I'm competing a lot better than I have in the past, staying there no matter if I'm down a break or up a break or whatever. I'm just trying to play as consistently as possible.

I'm just trying to stay in the moment the best I can and not get ahead of myself, especially when I'm ahead. I think that's really good. Especially when you're closing out a match, it helps to stay in the present.

I'm just trying to stay as solid as possible and focus more on the process rather than the results. This has always been big for me, a big thing that I needed to work on, just no matter win or lose, just go out there and continue to do the things I've been working on in practice, you know, just let it happen.

Q. How does coming through the qualifying help you now, or does it? Are you tired?
MONICA PUIG: No, it was a great thing for me actually. Considering the injury and everything, I didn't have that many matches. I missed a big chunk of the European swing. It was huge.

Getting those three extra matches really helped me feel the groove, then come with a good rhythm into the main draw. Considering that I didn't have a day off after qualifying, it was good because then I just kept the momentum going, I kept feeling good.

I have a great team behind me that's preparing me for what's next, the next day, so the body is holding up quite well.

Q. Is there anyone else besides your team you talk to after tough matches?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, I mean, I have a whole support system in my family, my friends, close people I can rely on. It hasn't been an easy two years since Rio. I've had some key people help lift me up, especially in the difficult times. My agent, my coach, my fitness coach, my chiropractor, all of them have been my rock in this moment. They haven't given up on me. They've just helped me push past all of these negative moments. They continued to believe in me even when I didn't believe in myself. I'm really grateful for that.

Q. How do you feel about playing Kvitova again? The last semifinal was at the Olympics.
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, we played in the semifinal, and we actually ended up playing this year in Madrid just before I got injured. She played really, really well that whole tournament.

For me, whichever one wins, it doesn't really matter. I just want to continue to go back out on the court. I'm really enjoying just being out there and running and hustling and hitting, everything. This is the way I want to feel when I walk on a tennis court, just to be grateful being out there and doing what I love.

Q. You said yesterday how much it means to you to represent Puerto Rico, winning the gold medal. There seems to be a good feeling about you in the stadium. As someone who covered Felix Trinidad, that's the last time I saw an athlete from Puerto Rico generate this kind of feeling around the world. How do you feel about that and are you ready for the attention next week?
MONICA PUIG: Next week is going to be huge. The massive Puerto Rican crowds are all in New York. They all come and see me play. I'm so happy that all of them can.

I don't feel any extra pressure from having all of them watching me. It actually helps me and boosts me. I love to see that support. It's great to see them out here. They really care. They get into it. They're very passionate about their athletes. I'm really grateful that they follow me and support me. It's something great to have.

ANNE WORCESTER: Speaking of support, if I could just add that we are partnering with Monica to support the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. We've created a special discount code CO18Monica, which is a 25% discount on tickets for sessions when she plays.

The tournament, as part of our non-profit mission, will donate 50% of all ticket proceeds to Monica's hurricane relief effort.

MONICA PUIG: Youcaring.com/donatewithMonica.

ANNE WORCESTER: If you could help us in all of your articles and pieces to push that out, CO18Monica, 25% discount off the ticket, plus 50% of every ticket sold will help Monica in her Puerto Rico hurricane relief effort.

Thank you, Monica.

MONICA PUIG: No, thank you.

ANNE WORCESTER: She did a wonderful meet-and-greet with a large group of adoring fans last night. You are truly beloved.

MONICA PUIG: I really love all my Puerto Ricans. I thank you for doing this for me and Puerto Rico. It really means a lot.

ANNE WORCESTER: It's our pleasure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297