2016 Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig retires from tennis

Rio de Janeiro Olympic gold medalist Monica Puigo announced his retirement from professional tennis via a post on social media at the age of 28 monday.

Puig became the first athlete to win gold for Puerto Rico in any sport at the Olympics with her women’s singles victory in 2016. She was also the first woman to represent her country to earn an Olympic medal of any colour.

“After 3 years of hard struggle with injuries and 4 surgeries, I’ve had enough of my body,” Puig wrote Monday. “The decision is not an easy one because I would have liked to retire on my own terms, but sometimes life has other plans and we have to open new doors that lead to exciting possibilities.”

Puig said she would work for ESPN and “explore mentoring roles for young, up-and-coming tennis players, as well as programs and academia.”

She leaves the tennis tour with a career record of 303–215, a WTA singles title in addition to Summer Games victories, a career-best ranking of 27 and over $3.5 million in prize money.

Puig stopped playing in the first set of his final tournament match against Fiona Ferro in France last month. She played in another official match this season at the Madrid Open, losing to Australian Open runner-up Daniel Collins.

Otherwise, Puig had not competed since her first-round loss at the French Open in October 2020.

She announced in June 2021 that she would have to sit out of the Tokyo Olympics and the rest of the previous season following surgery on her right shoulder. This was his second operation to repair the rotator cuff and biceps tendon.

Puig also had surgery on his right elbow in December 2019.

At the Rio Olympics, Puig was unseeded and ranked 34th, but achieved surprising results, defeating three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6–4, 4–6, 6–1 in the final. This was followed by victories against two other major champions, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza. Puig was the first unseeded woman to win a singles title since tennis returned to the Olympics in 1988.

Puig’s best performance at a Grand Slam tournament was reaching the fourth round of Wimbledon as a teenager in 2013.

“For the past 28 years of my life, tennis has been my constant. It has given me some of the most exciting and memorable experiences I could have ever asked for,” Puig wrote Monday. “But, sometimes, good things come to an end.”

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More Associated Press Tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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