London | Olympic champion Monica Puig announces retirement 

Puerto Rico’s Monica Puig, who won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, announced her retirement from professional tennis to pursue a career in broadcasting with ESPN.

Listening to our anthem on the podium for the first time in history with a gold medal will always be the most beautiful memory of my life and career. Thank you tennis. You have been everything. I owe you my life. Here’s to the next chapter. Monica Puig

“It’s not a goodbye, but a see you soon,” Puig posted on Instagram. “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.

“I would love to also announce that I will be very much active in the tennis world as a new full time member of the ESPN family, along with branching out into many other sports that I am passionate about!

“I will also be exploring consulting roles for young, up and coming tennis players, as well as with programs and academies.”

Puig hit a career-high ranking at No 27 on the WTA Tour in 2016 and won her only title on the red clay in Strasbourg in 2014.

The highlight of Puig’s career came in her history-making run to Olympic gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero.


Monica Puig won Puerto Rico's first Gold medal at the age of 22 at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after defeating Angelique Kerber, 6-4 4-6 6-1, in the final

© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

At age 22, Puig became Puerto Rico’s first Olympic gold medalist with a stunning performance, which included wins against 3 major champions in Garbiñe Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber in the gold medal match.

“I always said it was a blessing and a curse kind of thing,” Puig told reporters last month at the Mutua Madrid Open. “But I think it was just a really good period of growth for me.

“Growth, maturity, understanding myself, understanding who I am as a person, as a woman, and all of these things.

“Because I look back on it now, and I’m like, ‘Wow, I was so stupid for so many things.’ But at the end of the day, I didn’t know any better. I was 22 years old and kind of came out of nowhere, and I wasn’t ready for all of that.”

Injuries derailled Puig’s career when, in 2019, she suffered permanent nerve damage due to a compressed nerve in her elbow, followed by shoulder injuries, which included surgeries for a torn biceps, labrum and rotator cuff.

Last month, Puig was finally able to take the court again and compete in Madrid, and lost to Australian Open finalist Danielle Collins in what proved to be her final tour-level match.

Puig ended her Instagram post by thanking her sponsors and supporters, and also left a heartfelt note for the people of Puerto Rico.

“Listening to our anthem on the podium for the first time in history with a gold medal will always be the most beautiful memory of my life and career,” Puig wrote in Spanish.

She ended her post with a final goodbye to the tennis community: “Thank you tennis. You have been everything. I owe you my life. Here’s to the next chapter.”


Monica Puig (L) worked for ESPN at last year's US Open, providing analysis, working alongside host Carolina Guillen (R) in the broadcast booth, and court-side on Arthur Ashe Ashe, including for the final between Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez

ESPN International



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