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Murray, Puig Win Tennis Gold in Rio




Andy Murray of Great Britain became the first player, male or female, to defend a gold medal in singles tennis. Murray who just won Wimbledon for the second time, a month ago, defeated surprise silver medalist, Juan Martin Del Porto in four thrilling sets (7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5).

In the women’s side Monica Puig, of Puerto Rico, shocked the world by defeating the second highest ranked female tennis player in the world, German, Angelique Kerber (6-4, 4-6, 6-1). Kerber was the heavy favorite going into the match against Monica Puig. Before winning the gold medal, Puig had only won one small tournament on the WTA field. By winning the gold, Puig had to defeat grand slam champions Garbiñe Muguruza, Petra Kvitová, and Angelique Kerber. With her gold medal victory Puig became the first Puerto Rican to win a gold medal in any sport.

It was a topsy-turvy Olympics for tennis. With top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic both going out early, the door was wide open for many to come through. Rafael Nadal, who hadn’t played since pulling out of the French Open, made a good run to the semis but in the end lost an instant classic three set match to Del Porto (5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (5)). Del Porto, who has played sparingly because of a persistent wrist injury, took out Novak and was able to walk away with a silver medal. All was not lost for Rafa either. Despite losing to Japan’s Kei Nishikori for the bronze, Nadal was able to take home the doubles gold with partner Marc Lopez.

Also worth noting was the all American mixed doubles gold medal finals. Jack Sock and Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeated Venus Williams and Rajeev Ram to win the gold.  This was the first time in decades that there was an all American final in tennis. After a quick exit in the singles, Jack went on to win the bronze medal in doubles with Steve Johnson. For Venus, who had a disappointing showing in singles and women’s doubles, it was a late decision to play mixed. With winning the silver medal, Venus broke the tie with sister Serena at four medals (gold) and took home her fifth Olympic medal.

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