Monica Puig was a relentless figure of strength at the US Open Tuesday. With revenge on her mind, she delivered a clean knockout to Stefanie Vogele who won just 21 points in a 6-0, 6-0 defeat on Court 8 at the Billy Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Olympic gold medalist outscored her opponent by more than 30 points in one of the smoothest first-round matches she ever had in a major. It made up for the abdominal injury that she suffered last week to get a solid start to the big tournament.
This was the seventh meeting and the third this season making the two heated rivals coming into their opening round.
After Puig got a great win against Vogele in Monterrey, she was handed a tough loss that took her out of the running at the Western & Southern Open. It was the second match win against the Puerto Rican and one that would be in her head to begin the final slam of the year.
The Swiss player last made it beyond the first round back in 2009 making her more than due for an improvement.
Puig sat in the same situation making the second round four years ago. With a lot on the line for the two, getting their game in gear would be huge with recent memories of one another so fresh in their minds.
Puig had her eyes on getting into a comfortable position with a majority of her countrymen in attendance at her match.
She quickly gained a 3-0 lead on Vogele taking the double break in hand. She stayed on point holding serve that kept the Swiss player as well as on her service game in the fifth. Puig closed in on the bagel but she got behind with Vogele battling back.
A response during a break point chance ended with Puig getting into the court to smash the ball away that forced deuce. She was first to reach the AD point before getting the shutout on a line drive winner ending 21 minutes.
Vogele never got a point from her second serve as Puig was well under control from start to finish.
She never let up as the second set went into action slowly taking game after game. Vogele was being taught a lesson is power shot forehands as she found it difficult to contain the attack.
By the time five games had elapsed, the Puerto Rican was flowing smoothly through the second set ready to drop the double bagel on her opponent.
With Vogele continuously returning the ball wide, Puig had two match points that she easily put away with a final winner concluding her easy 44-minute match.
With a good way to start the final major of the year, the difficulty would rise dramatically for the 24-year-old as she faces sixth seed Caroline Garcia on Thursday.