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August 24, 2018

Monica Puig

New Haven, Connecticut


4-4 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Was it not the thigh? Was it the stomach?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, it was a bit of an abdominal strain that I started feeling in my second service game. I just gradually got worse from there. Obviously with the US Open so close, it's better not to make it worse, miss a tournament. I mean, I already know the consequences of getting injured and missing a Grand Slam. That's not ideal.

Q. We could see you tearing up. Was it out of pain or frustration?
MONICA PUIG: It was both pain and disappointment at that moment. I definitely wasn't feeling good. I worked so hard to get to this point, this point of the tournament. To have to retire, especially in the semifinal, it's definitely not a happy moment.

Q. Are you unsure about your status for the Open? Do you feel by retiring you're playing it safe?
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, no, the good thing is that I do play Tuesday in New York. That gives me a little bit of a window to work with my team and get back to feeling good. I'm going to do everything possible. The good thing is that pulling out today, I avoided making it worse.

I already know what it's like to play with an injury, obviously having a more negative outcome. I really needed to be careful today. I think I made the right decision.

Q. It was out of the blue?
MONICA PUIG: Actually, you know, physically I felt quite good coming into today. I was really optimistic. Just some things happen. It just, you know, catches you off guard. As disappointing as this moment is, I have to listen to my body and know that I need to get ready for the US Open. That's really important.

While today was extremely important to me, having played the way I played all week, it was just a big blow.

Q. Talk about the way you played all week, coming all the way through quallies to get here. You must feel pretty good about that.
MONICA PUIG: Yeah, of course. I started finding my form. I felt really good all week, playing really well, building the confidence. That's something that I've been looking to do all year. I just haven't been able to do it.

To have it come out now is great, finding my rhythm again. I'm very pleased on that part.

Q. Was it from an old injury?
MONICA PUIG: No, this is just something that happened, like I said, on the second service game. I hit one serve, felt something. I kept pushing, kept playing. It just gradually got worse.

Instead of continuing to fight through this and probably end up making it worse than it already was, I just decided to stop. I'm going to evaluate with my team what needs to be done the next couple days to get myself feeling 100% for my first round in New York.

Q. Why did you decide to come back out for the eighth game?
MONICA PUIG: Because I'm a fighter, I'm a competitor. I don't like to give up easily. I love to play. I love competing. I love being out there in a crowded stadium. I'm never going to just give up that easily. I wanted to see if I could continue, if the tape job would help. Inevitably it was just what I had to do.

Q. How do you mentally distract yourself from something like this moving forward?
MONICA PUIG: As disappointing as this is, I have to turn the page and just focus on what's coming up, working on feel better, getting back out onto the court whenever I feel 100% to practice and all that, which hopefully won't be too long. Definitely going to take a day off tomorrow and just rest because I've had a long week.

It's part of the game. I know what getting injured means. It's a bit of a bummer because this is the second time this year that something like this happens. I just have to be optimistic that New York will be good and I'll be healthy to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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