Monica Puig recovered from 4-2 down in the final set to upset No.7 seed Petra Kvitova in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
WTA Staff

TOKYO, Japan - Monica Puig produced a typically gutsy comeback to upset former champion and No.7 seed Petra Kvitova and reach the quarterfinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

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Despite playing much of the contest on the back foot, Puig played the more assured tennis when it mattered to run out a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 winner.

"It was difficult conditions today - the conditions were heavy and the roof was open this time - so it took me a little bit of time to adjust," Puig said. "I just kept fighting and that's what got me through today."

Puig, who also beat Kvitova on her way to Olympic gold this summer, has now won all four of her encounters with left-handers in 2016. "I didn't know I hadn't lost [to a left-hander], but they're very difficult to play and always tricky," she said when quizzed on her impressive record after the match.

The result will smart for Kvitova, who led 4-2 in the decider and came within a point of moving 5-3 ahead. However, from 40-15 down Puig produced the most impressive of turnarounds; a fizzing forehand return winner and a backhand onto the baseline bringing her to deuce, before breaking when a frustrated Kvitova sent a forehand long.

The Czech would win just one more point as Puig snatched victory to set up a meeting with either Barbora Strycova or defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska.

Elsewhere, wildcard Naomi Osaka delighted the crowd by knocking out No.6 seed Dominika Cibulkova to reach her third WTA quarterfinal and first at a Premier event. Unleashing serves regularly in excess of 120mph and attacking anything remotely short, Osaka recovered from the loss of the first two games to romp home, 6-2, 6-1, and register just the third Top 20 win of her career.