Murray set for historic match, Puig wins first gold for Puerto Rico

Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:42pm EDT
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By Joshua Schneyer

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Britain's Andy Murray set up a meeting with Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro in the Olympics men's tennis final on Sunday, as he aims to become the first player to retain the singles title.

Meanwhile, Monica Puig clinched the women's singles gold medal for Puerto Rico, defeating Germany's Angelique Kerber. With the victory, the U.S. territory won its first ever Olympic gold medal, and its ninth medal in history.

Del Potro, who entered the Olympic tournament unseeded but gained a huge boost of confidence by defeating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the first round, earned his spot in the finals by narrowly defeating Spain's Rafael Nadal.

Ranked 141st in the world after two years plagued by injury, Del Potro came back from a set down against Nadal to win the day, prevailing in a tense tie-break in the decisive third set.

The 27-year-old Argentine, who stands 6 feet 6 inches (1.98m), deployed his barrelling serve and crushing forehand to outmatch Nadal 5-7 6-4 7-6(5).

If he can muster the same kind of power against Murray, the Olympic final is likely to be a thriller.

Murray, 29, defeated Roger Federer of Switzerland to win the gold medal in men's singles in London, where Del Potro was the bronze medalist.

Asked about the prospect of winning a second straight Olympic singles gold, Murray said: "It would mean a lot. It’s obviously not an easy thing to do – that’s why it has not been done before."   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Tennis - Semifinal - Men's Singles Semifinals - Olympic Tennis Centre - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 13/08/2016. Andy Murray (GBR) of Britain celebrates after winning match against Kei Nishikori (JPN) of Japan.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque