“At one point I just had to laugh, during the changeover, because it was so unbelievable,” Puig commented after the win.
Pliskova’s dominant serve is the hallmark of her game, and it was in full strength during the match. Her 31 aces set a new women’s tennis record, breaking Sabine Lisicki‘s previous record of 27 aces last year in Birmingham.
But even making tennis history was no consolation for the tough loss.
“I don’t care about that right now,” Pliskova said to press afterwards. “It’s nice, but I wish I could have hit like 20 and won.”
Puig, who made the biggest final of her career last week in Sydney, approached the booming serve by keeping a positive mentality even when the win seemed just out of reach – she saved three match points in a row in the second set tie-break and another two in the third set.
“I think I just tried to stay as positive as possible, even though it was difficult at times,” Puig said. “You know, you get upset: she fires another ace and you’re just like, okay! I just tried to stay relaxed in those important moments.”
“I think it’s just about believing that you can come out of a moment like that, that at any moment you can get a second wind and come out of it.”