New York: Puerto Rico's Monica Puig, whose dream run to a gold medal was one of the feel-good stories of the Rio Games, came down to earth at the US Open tennis championship where China's Saisai Zheng dealt her a 6-4, 6-2 defeat in the first round.
The 22-year-old Puig was not in her best form entering the final Grand Slam event of the year and her performance on Monday confirmed the expectations of some tennis analysts, reports Efe.
Puig, who defeated Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the women's gold medal match on August 13, committed 28 unforced errors against Zheng, who is ranked 61st in the world.
The world No.35 acknowledged that there had been many distractions heading into the US Open but said she was aware of what was needed to play at a high level.
"I need to keep racking up as much experience as I can. You know what? This isn't going to be the last of me. I know I'm going to keep working hard. The Olympics was something that happened because of all my hard work," Puig said.
The Puerto Rican player, who has won just one title in her professional career, had a magical run at the Rio Games, becoming the Caribbean island's first gold medallist.
On her dream run to the gold in Rio, Puig knocked off Spanish world No.4 Garbiñe Muguruza, the French Open champion and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Slovenia's Polona Hercog and Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.