Grace Min moves on after Monica Puig retired in the third set of their match.
By Allison Moore, special to USTA.com
OSPREY, Fla. – Qualifying for the $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit women’s event at the Oaks Club continued Monday, with injuries and upsets throughout the day.
Teenager Monica Puig, the Puerto Rican player who upset No. 1 seed Jill Craybas of the United States in Sunday’s first match, was leading against 2011 US Open girls’ champion Grace Min of the United States. During the third set, a long return shot sent Puig scrambling, and she rolled her ankle, stumbled and shouted in pain. A medical time out was called, and although Puig tried to continue, she could not, forcing her to retire leading in the third set, 3-6, 6-4, 1-3 ret.
Min has known Puig for a long time and commented after the match, "I did not want to win this way."
"This was very difficult today. You have so many players coming from the Sony Ericsson and Europe, warming up for clay in Charleston. It’s a good week to get matches in," Min added.
CoCo Vandeweghe of the United States is new to the Oaks Club tournament but played hard against No. 8 seed Julia Cohen, defeating her in two sets, 7-5, 6-2. Vandeweghe had never faced Cohen in tournament match play but felt her tennis was solid.
"She was tough in the first set when I was down, but I held my serve," Vandeweghe said. "Her game style is long, so I played shorter balls, and the only two games she won in the second set were her serving games. This was good tennis for me."
The Oaks Club Director of Tennis Tom Whitten thought Vandeweghe gained confidence as the match went on.
"She hit a backhand winner down the line, and the referee overturned the call, and it was smooth sailing from that point forward. She has lots of variety and great power with her shots," Whitten stated.
The final round of qualifying will be played Tuesday.
March 26 Qualifying results:
Grace Min, United States, def. Monica Puig, Puerto Rico, 3-6, 6-4, 1-3 Ret.
Michelle Larcher De Brito (6), Portugal def. Julia Boserup, United States, 6-1, 6-2
Kristina Mladenovic, France, def. Maria-Elena Camerin, Italy, 6-3, 6-3
Florencia Molinero, Argentina, def. Sharon Fichman, Canada 7-5, 6-2
Dia Evtimova, Bulgaria, def. Mariana Duque-Marino (2), Columbia, 6-3, 6-2
CoCo Vandeweghe, United States, def. Julia Cohen (8), United States, 7-5, 6-2
Jana Cepelova, Slovakia, def. Olga Puchkova, Russia, 6-1, 6-2
Estrella Cabeza-Candela (3), Spain, def. Heidi El Tabakh, Canada, 6-4, 6-4
ABOUT THE USTA PRO CIRCUIT
With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA launched its Pro Circuit 33 years ago to provide players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Last year, more than 1,000 men and women from more than 70 countries competed in cities nationwide. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Andy Roddick, Caroline Wozniacki, James Blake, Li Na and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit.