Monica Puig made history on Saturday afternoon when she became the first Puerto Rican woman to win an Olympic medal in any sport. She grabbed gold when she defeated Angelique Kerber, 6–4, 4–6, 6–1. Ranked 34th in the world, Puig was the lowest-ranked woman to play for an Olympic gold medal.
Puig is the first Puerto Rican athlete, male or female, to win gold. She won the first set before getting down early in the second. She rallied through the lengthy set, but fell just short to second-ranked Kerber. Puig came out in the third set to take a commanding 5–0 lead. Kerber pulled one game back and looked to be on her way to winning a second game. But Puig rallied, yet again, coming back to tie the game and then taking the final point to win the set.
The 22-year-old topped Polona Hercog of Slovenia in straight sets during the opening round of the women’s singles event in Rio. She followed that up by defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round and upsetting No. 3 Garbine Muguruza of Spain in the third round. Muguruza defeated Serena Williams earlier this year at the French Open.
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The Puerto Rican beat Laura Siegemund of Germany in straight sets upon reaching the quarterfinals. She knocked out Petra Kvitova in the semifinals. Kvitova won bronze earlier Saturday after topping American Madison Keys in three sets, 7–5, 2–6, 6–2.