No.4 seed Monica Puig is into the quarterfinals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel for the second time after a victory over Daniela Hantuchova, 6-4, 6-4.
WTA Staff

ACAPULCO, Mexico - No.4 seed Monica Puig is into the quarterfinals at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel for the second time after a victory over Daniela Hantuchova, 6-4, 6-4.

"Today I felt a lot better on court than I did yesterday," Puig said after the match. "I've definitely seen an improvement in my game during the past few days.

"And that's really my goal, to improve every match and not feel pressure, and just go out on court and play the best I can."

Hantuchova is currently ranked No.244, a position which belies the quality the former World No.5 can produce, and she employed her all-court game against the Olympic champion.

Puig shook off a sluggish start in the opening set against Hantuchova, grabbing the lone break at 4-3. She had trouble closing out the set - a struggle she had yesterday against Francesca Schiavone as well. The Puerto Rican had two set points on Hantuchova's serve, but was unable to convert. She fought off two breaks of her own before sending down a booming serve down the T to take the opening set.

"I've had a lot of matches these past few weeks, so having a bit of tension is normal," Puig explained in her post-match press conference. "The body gets a bit tense after so many matches."

The Puerto Rican's big-hitting game clicked together in the final set, weathering five breaks of serve in the first six games to come away with the lead.

A trio of errors from Hantuchova gave Puig a look at three match points, but Hantuchova wasn't ready to let go. She put together a massive effort to deny Puig five times with gutsy baseline play - and even earned a break point - but Puig took the match on the sixth time of asking for a spot in the Acapulco quarterfinals.

Puig will take on Christina McHale for a spot in the semifinals after the American knocked out her countrywoman Taylor Townsend 6-1, 7-6(5) earlier in the day.

"Christina is a very good friend of mine, we train together a lot," Puig said. "It's going to be a tough match for sure. She's been playing really well lately, and I expect a great match; I just hope to bring my best tennis."

Also in action today, Kirsten Flipkens moved into the quarterfinals after her opponent Ajla Tomljanovic - author of yesterday's stunner over No.6 seed Eugenie Bouchard - was forced to retire after the first set due to a right shoulder injury.

No.7 seed Lesia Tsurenko advanced in similar fashion; she was leading 6-1, 2-0 against Julia Goerges before the German was forced to retire due to heat illness.