Puerto Rican tennis player Monica Puig returns the ball to Belgian Kirsten Flipkens during the first round of the 2019 Roland Garros tournament. (YOAN VALAT)
The Puerto Rican tennis player Mónica Puig will begin her participation in the French Open (Roland Garros) on Monday – with an hour yet to be determined – against a well-known rival who has dominated in the past.
This is the Italian veteran Sara Errani, 33 years old and with nine titles won from the Women's Tennis Association (WTA for its acronym in English).
Puig, 27, is 4-0 against Errani, a 2012 French Open finalist. One of the most memorable victories came when he upset Errani in 2013 in the first round of Wimbledon.
Errani entered Wimbledon as number five on the WTA world rankings and Puig as a rookie. In the 2013 edition, Puig, then 19 years old, reached the fourth round, the highest level played by the Puerto Rican in a grand slam to date.
In fact, Puig has been Errani's executioner for the past few years. In 2015, he defeated her at the Acapulco Open with the Italian as the number two seed. In 2016, Errani was the first seed of the Strasbourg Arbieto and was defeated by Puig, champion of the 2014 edition, in the first round.
Their last meeting was in 2019. Puig dominated 6-0 and 6-1 at the Charleston Open.
Currently, Puig is racket number 98 in the WTA and Errani, who entered the main draw of the French grand slam via the qualifying rounds, is 150 . In the second round, the winner will face the winner between the Ukrainian Katarina Zavatska and the Dutch Kiki Bertens, seeded number five and eighth in the world ranking.
Puig is coming off losing in the first round of the US Open in late August. At Roland Garros, he has reached the third round three times (2013, 2016 and 2019).
The Puerto Rican Olympic gold medal winner in Rio 2016 will be playing her first official event of the year on clay, although in June she saw action in an exhibition on the same type of surface in South Carolina. That was his first tournament, official or not, since he was inactivated due to injury in October 2019.
The French Open was moved this year from April to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.