"My serving was pretty good today so I think I just believed that I could serve it out and be as positive as I could," said Puig. "She played a great match, she put me under pressure a lot and I'm just happy to get through."
Following a confidence-building run to the semifinals of the Qatar Total Open, Puig continued her rich vein of form by taking the opening set 6-3 but squandered a handful of break points against the Kazakh's serve before being broken twice to lose a tight second set 6-4.
Puig took an injury timeout before the start of the decider and it seemed to have the desired effect as the Puerto Rican gained the decisive opening break in the seventh game for a 4-3 lead before serving out for the win.
"There was just some soreness," Puig said of her lower back pain in press. "I came from the semis in Doha so obviously I need to get my body as recovered as possible but I'm feeling good after this win."
"I know she (Garcia) is a very feisty player. She plays really well and she's had a great couple of years so I have to go out there and play my best game and whatever happens, happens but I'm just happy with what I'm doing."
For Shvedova, her challenging start to the season continues. She made 44 unforced errors and 11 double faults and is yet to win a match in 2017.
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This article was first seen on www.wtatennis.com.