Puerto Rico’s national anthem played for the first time at the Olympic Games on Saturday after an unexpected – and historic – victory from tennis player Monica Puig.
At just 22 years old and ranked 34th in the world, Puig beat Germany’s Angelique Kerber for the gold medal in women’s singles, marking the first gold medal for her country and becoming the first woman representing Puerto Rico to earn any medal at an Olympics.
“I’m speechless,” Puig said after the match, according to NPR. “I wanted it so bad.”
The underdog faced No. 2-ranked Kerber and seized the first set, 6-4. The German athlete responded by taking the second set, also 6-4.
Puig was leading 5-0 in the decisive third set, but Kerber took a game to keep the match going. However, Puig was able to wrap things up in the seventh game as fans chanted, “Si se puede,” winning 6-1.
The Puerto Rican, now living in Miami, dissolved in tears and knelt on the court when the result was final, taking in the momentous victory after the intense two-hour, nine-minute match.
“I think I united a nation. And I just love where I come from,” Puig told NBC following her historic win.
Via Stephanie Petit, People