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RIO 2016 - Who is ‘pica power’ Monica Puig?
Seg, 15 de Agosto de 2016 20:12

Tennis player Monica Puig won first ever Puerto Rico golden ...

(Rio de Janeiro, BR Press) -  While the Indian tennis icons, such as  Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Saina Nehwal are not shining as expected in Rio 2016, the then unknown Monica Puig has taken the pole position as the new star of the Olympic Games – and also a fresh Olympic a muse, given the beauty of the 22 years old Puerto Rican tennis player.  Even the singer Ricky Martin, probably the most famous son of Puerto Rico, cheered her:  “Hoy, sin duda alguna, mi Puerto Rico es la isla más feliz del mundo [“Today, with no doubt, my Puerto Rico is the world’s most happy island”, in English].#GRACIASMONICA”.

After beating no.2 seed Angelique Kerber in the final of the women's tennis final at the Olympic Tennis Centre and winning the first ever Puerto Rico golden medal, on Saturday (August 13rd), Monica Puig Marchán has written her name in sports history.  Moreover, Puig became the first woman ever to win a medal for Puerto Rico at the Olympic Games, and the third Puerto Rican overall to compete for a gold medal at an individual sport. Gigi Fernandez, a Puerto Rican tennis legend who won Olympic gold in doubles in 1992 and 1996, did so while representing the USA.

Living in the US; playing for Puerto Rico

Puig, who turned pro in 2010 won her first, and so far only, WTA singles title at the 2014 Internationaux de Strasbourg. She has also six singles titles on the international Tennis Federation circuit during her career started when she was 10 years old in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. Her father is a Cuban American of Spanish origin and her mother is a Puerto Rican also of Spanish descent. 

Monica’s father moved to the USA to work when she was still a child and the family has been living there since. But Monica refused to play for the American flat as Gigi did. Puerto Rico (Spanish for 'Rich Port’), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, is the largest insular territory of the United States, and it is located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea. Saturday, Puerto Rico stopped to see the historic match, according to journalists in the country that vibrated every point of the 'Pica Power' as it is known Monica and which refers to 'chop stone', which in Puerto Rico means something like “give all of you, play with a lot of willing, never give up a play”.

"It's amazing!”, she said to a few journalists present at the court’s side,  shaking Puerto Rico’s flag, after defeating the favourite Angelique Kerber by 2 sets to 1 (with 6-4, 4-6 and 6-1). “I know my country likes me and I dedicate this victory to them. I really wanted to win this medal for them. I was always 100% loyal to the place where I was born. I still have family in Puerto Rico, is my favorite place to go . I always had a lot of support and affection of all during my career.”

Brief but great career

On July 11, 2016, Puig achieved her best singles ranking of world number 33 and peaked at world number 263 in the doubles rankings on July 23, 2012. The Latin beauty began the year ranked 92nd and is currently ranked 34 in the world. 

Monica Puig was excited to be in the final: “Never wake me up from this dream im living!!! Going for #goldtomorrow!!!  #EquipoPUR #JuegosOlimpicos #Tenis”, she twitter.  After the splash also were ordinary people and celebrities from all over the Latin universe.  American singer and actress Jeniffer Lopez also twitted cheering Puig: “CONGRATULATIONS @MonicaAce93 @NBCOlympicsYOU DID IT!!! #firstandonly #boricua #girlpower #HERSTORY”.