Puig claims surprise gold in women’s singles

Monica Puig has won Puerto Rico's first ever gold medal by triumphing in the final of the women's singles.

The 22-year-old Puig had already written her name in the history books by making it to final, guaranteeing that she would be the first female athlete from the Central American nation to win an Olympic medal. She made sure that medal would be gold with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 win over Angelique Kerber.

Puig had a tough road to the final, beating among others Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova.

The world number number 34 said on Twitter after her semi-final victory: "Never wake me up from this dream im living!!!" That dream became a golden one on Saturday night when she produced a top-quality performance to down Kerber.

After two close sets were shared one apiece, Kerber, who claimed her maiden grand slam at the Australian Open in January, simply could not match Puig's intensity in the final set.

Puig won the first five games of the decider to put one foot on the top set of the podium. Kerber would not go down without a fight though, and made sure Puig would have to serve out the match before racking up three break points when 1-5 down.

However, Puig was not going to let a gold medal slip through her fingertips, and eventually converted her third match point in a marathon seventh game, dropping to her knees in tears when the job was complete.

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Earlier, the bronze medal was won by Kvitova, as she defeated American Madison Keys 7-5, 2-6, 6-2 after a two-hour-and-15-minute battle.

World number 14 Kvitova claimed the decisive break of the first set at 5-5 to take the lead, but Keys – the world number 9 – hit back strongly to win the second set and level the scores courtesy of two successive breaks in games six and eight.

As so often happens in tennis, however, there was another momentum swing at the start of the third set, allowing Kvitova to race into a 4-0 lead before finally clinching the bronze medal on her fourth match point.

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