NEW HAVEN — On Tuesday, young players at the Connecticut Open's Latino Day got a tennis experience they'll never forget: A lesson from Olympic gold medalists Monica Puig and Gigi Fernandez.
As anyone who's ever tried to learn tennis would expect, the participants had a hard time keeping the ball in the court at first. But Puig had helpful tips to share, while Fernandez has coached players of all levels, from juniors and recreational to professional.
"The first thing I would teach them is that they have to watch the ball," Puig said. "Because, if you don't know where the ball is around you, then there's really no chance in hitting the ball."
Puig won the singles gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, while Fernandez won doubles gold in both 1992 and 1996.
Puig has won four matches in New Haven so far—three in qualifying, and one more on Monday with a 7-5, 6-1 over former Top 10 star Timea Bacsinszky. The Puerto Rican is set to play Anett Kontaveit in the second round.