Who is Monica Puig? Puerto Rico native becomes tennis star at Rio

Published 6:02 pm Saturday, August 13, 2016

Who is Monica Puig?

She’s the 22-year-old surprising winner of the gold medal in women’s tennis singles at the Rio Olympics 2016.

Monica Puig won Puerto Rico’s first gold medal in any sport in Olympic history, upsetting Angelique Kerber in the women’s tennis singles final at the Rio Games.

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Even before Saturday’s victory, Puig already was assured of being the first woman representing Puerto Rico to earn a medal of any color at any Olympics.

Puig is ranked 34th and is the first unseeded women’s singles gold medalist since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988.

From WTA tennis: Puig’s “coach is Juan Todero … Parents are Jose and Astrid; older brother is Ricky (works in the aeronautical industry as an engineer) … Introduced to tennis by mother; first tennis memory is playing in a clinic at a country club … Favorite surface is hardcourts … Speaks fluent Spanish and English … Best tennis memories are winning first WTA title at Strasbourg in 2014, as well as winning inaugural WTA Rising Stars Invitational in Singapore at the end of the year, reaching third round round at 2013 French Open and fourth round at 2013 Wimbledon … Also enjoys going to the beach, relaxing at home, spending time with family and her dogs, reading and creative writing.”

Kerber was seeded No. 2, won the Australian Open in January, and was the runner-up at Wimbledon last month. She was trying to give Germany its first singles gold since Steffi Graf in 1988, but instead goes home with a silver.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic won the bronze.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.