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PostPosted: 05 Nov 2018, 20:33 
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Monica Puig lifted Puerto Rico's first ever Olympic gold medal on Saturday after she clinched the women's singles title in the Rio Games tennis competition.

Puig also became the first female athlete representing the country to win a medal of any color at any Olympics after she beat Germany's world number two Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

The world number 34, who has never reached a grand slam quarterfinal, sent Wimbledon runner-up Kerber running around the court as the crowd cheered her on.

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic won the bronze.

In the men's semifinals, former world number four Juan Del Potro edged past title favorite Rafael Nadal of Spain in a marathon singles.

Del Potro, currently ranked 141st in the world, revenged the doubles' second round loss to eventual winner Nadal, winning 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) to set up a men's final meeting on Sunday with defending champion Andy Murray of Britain, who overpowered Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-2 in the other semifinal.

Del Potro, whose world rankings dropped drastically due to absence with a wrist injury, nailed the win on the first match point.

"It was tough to play against Rafa because you never know when you're going to win because he fights all the time," said the Argentine big server.

"You saw what happened in the third set when I served at 5-4 (he lost his serve) but then in the tiebreak I played solid and aggressive with my forehands, looking for the winners and I did great in the end," he added.

Del Potro who produced one of the biggest surprises of the tournament eliminating world number one Novak Djokovic in the first round, capitalized on the Spaniard's fatigue as Nadal, along with Marc Lopez, labored to beat Romanian pair Florin Mergea and Horia Tecau 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in two and a half hours Friday night.

"Now is not the time to talk about being tired. I gave everything that I had. I gave the last drop of energy that I had to try to win another medal, for me and Spain," said Nadal.

"I tried my best. Both of us played a very high level of tennis. It was a very emotional game. I'm satisfied with what I did. I played the best I could with a great fighting spirit. I congratulate Del Potro on a great event for him. But at the same time I am satisfied after two-and-a-half months of not competing, and to arrive here and be able to play the way I did against the best players in the world is great news," he said.

Nadal missed the London 2012 and was the winner of Beijing 2008 singles.

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