Having turned pro in 2012, Puig has been moving steadily up from a ranking in the mid-500ths when she turned pro just a few months ago to a current ranking of 124 in the world.
Despite a narrow defeat in the second round of the Brisbane tournament (a warm-up to the Australian Open), Puig’s prospects look excellent. She was narrowly defeated at Brisbane by Angelique Kerber, who had to fight back from 5-2 down in the deciding tiebreaker to beat Puig, who was playing as a qualifier, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9-7) in the second round on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Puig led 4-1 in the third set and was only two points from what would have been her biggest ever victory when she dumped a swinging volley into the bottom of the net in the tiebreaker, letting the world No. 5 Kerber back into the contest. The fourth-seeded Kerber remained composed and weathered the deep, powerful groundstrokes from Puig, who left the court in tears after an unforced error on the third match point.
“For sure it was a surprise how she played. I didn’t know her before, but, yeah, I’m sure that she’ll coming very soon top 50,” Kerber said of Puig.
Puig’s next challenge will come in the Australian Open.