Olympics-Reigning women's tennis champ Puig to miss Tokyo Games due to surgery

June 7 (Reuters) - Monica Puig, the reigning Olympic gold medallist in women’s singles tennis, said she will miss the Tokyo Games and the rest of the 2021 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Puig, 27, became the first athlete representing Puerto Rico to win Olympic gold in 2016 when she defeated Angelique Kerber 6-4 4-6 6-1 in the women’s singles final at the Rio Olympics.

"About a week ago I underwent my second shoulder surgery to repair my rotator cuff and biceps tendon and this does put me in a very difficult position and having to sit out of the Tokyo Olympics this year," Puig said on Instagram here on Sunday.

“It is very difficult and it was with a very heavy heart I took this decision. Obviously, my team and I are thinking long term and prolonging my career for as many years as possible and hoping to play in the Paris 2024 Olympics.”

The world number 168 last played at the 2020 French Open where she was knocked out in the first round.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23-Aug. 8. (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)