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Tennis Player Monica Puig Wins Puerto Rico's First Olympic Gold Medal

Puig is also the first woman to ever win an Olympic medal for Puerto Rico.
Monica Puig won Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medal Saturday.
Monica Puig won Puerto Rico's first-ever Olympic gold medal Saturday.

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Monica Puig overpowered Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the women’s tennis final on Saturday to win Puerto Rico’s first ever Olympic gold medal.

Puig, the world number 34, overpowered German world number two Kerber, the Australian Open champion, blasting winners from all over the court amid cheers of “Si, se puede” (“Yes, you can”) from an enthusiastic crowd.

The 22-year-old fell to the court and kissed it after sealing victory as fans waved Puerto Rican flags and yelled “Monica, Monica, Monica.”

Monica Puig reacts after defeating Angelique Kerber in the Women's Singles Gold Medal Match on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic
Monica Puig reacts after defeating Angelique Kerber in the Women's Singles Gold Medal Match on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

Puig beat twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals and she put in another impressive performance on Rio’s center court, firing groundstroke winners from all over the court.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and no female athlete from the Caribbean island had ever before won an Olympic medal under its flag.

Gigi Fernandez, born in Puerto Rico, won two Olympic gold medals representing the United States.

Puig also became the first unseeded player to win the Olympic women’s tennis singles tournament. It was the ninth Olympic medal for Puerto Rico with most of the others coming in boxing.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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