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Monica Puig, surprise Olympic tennis champion, announces retirement

Monica Puig

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Gold medalist Monica Puig of Puerto Rico poses during the medal ceremony for Women’s Singles on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Tennis Centre on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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Monica Puig, who won a surprise 2016 Olympic tennis title, the first gold medal for Puerto Rico in any event, announced her retirement Monday.

“It’s not a goodbye, but a see you soon,” Puig posted on social media. “Over the past 28 years of my life, tennis has been my constant. It has given me some of the most thrilling and memorable experiences i could have ever asked for. But, sometimes, good things come to an end. Today, I announce my retirement from tennis. After a tough 3 year fight with injuries and 4 surgeries, my body had enough. This decision isn’t an easy one because I would’ve loved 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, who said she’s joining ESPN as a broadcaster, competed on the WTA Tour in April and May for the first time since September 2020.

She missed the Tokyo Olympics after one of her surgeries, a shoulder operation to repair a rotator cuff and biceps tendon.

Puig won 2016 Olympic gold despite having never made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam. She was ranked 34th in the world and the first unseeded woman to win an Olympic singles title since tennis returned to the Olympic medal program in 1988.

Puig beat major champions Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber en route to the title.

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