Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Olympic medalist Monica Puig used a tennis racket to serve up a superb first pitch

I've seen more than my share of first pitches. Regardless of the pitcher's profession, they generally play it pretty safe, save for the occasional daring athlete like gymnast Nastia Liukin.

Back in April 2017, however, tennis player Coco Vanderweghe tried to integrate her own game into the act at a Rays game by serving up the first pitch. It was a lot of fun and a step up from the simplicity that John McEnroe had offered in the past.

Fellow WTA Tour star Monica Puig decided to follow in Vanderweghe's footsteps for her first pitch on Thursday in Cincinnati, prior to her appearance in the nearby Western & Southern Open. She had her own plan to add a spin on it. Forget tennis balls. The 2016 Olympic medalist was going to use a baseball, which has a decidedly different impact on the racket.

Not that you'd know it from Puig's pitch:

Honestly, that might have been a strike given the way it dipped through the zone. (Boyfriend Derek Dietrich could probably have framed it a little better.) Hitters have certainly chased worse pitches!

Whichever tennis star tries to match Puig's first pitch twist will have their hands full.

It's just too bad that Puig's baseball-playing counterpart, Yasiel, was no longer with the Reds to see it. You have to know that he would love the moxie behind it, though.