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Monica Puig on being dropped by Kamau Murray: "a slap in the face"
The Puerto Rican was blindsided when her former coach returned to Sloane Stephens just days before the US Open. Puig lost in the first round to Rebecca Peterson.
Published Aug 27, 2019
NEW YORK—Monica Puig called her coach's decision to drop her a "slap in the face" following her first-round defeat at the US Open.
Puig's former coach, Kamau Murray, re-joined Sloane Stephens's team just days before the start of the tournament. Puig said Murray told her he would not be working with her at the US Open, but she had been unaware of the move until it was publicly announced.
The 25-year-old from Puerto Rico fell, 6-3, 6-3, to Rebecca Peterson, and suggested that her play had been affected by the coaching disruption.
"Giving, and receiving, a slap in the face is hard," Puig was quoted as saying by AP. "Something like this puts extra stress and pressure on you, because you want to do something for yourself.
"I was really looking forward to winning, to proving to myself that no one can treat me like that and I'm stronger than that. That's why this defeat hurts so much, because I feel I've failed myself."
Puig said she intends to move back to Florida, having moved to Chicago to train with Murray. The pair began working together towards the beginning of the season, Murray's first appointment since he and Stephens had been what he described as "on a break" since the offseason.
Stephens had begun working with veteran WTA coach Sven Groeneveld a few months ago, with the pair splitting days before she announced that Murray was returning to her corner.
Puig reached the Charleston semifinals while working with Murray.
Editors Note: After her first-round loss to Anna Kalinskaya late Tuesday, Stephens had this to say about the situation.
"I think there's two sides to every story. I don't think that you should tell anything but the truth. I've seen some of the things that were said. I think that grownups do grownup things. We should leave it in the past and we should move on.
"If she has a problem, then she should approach me. It's not like I don't see her all the time. To go to you guys and say everything that has been said I think is a little inappropriate. But it is what it is. We move on."
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