London 2012 Olympics: Dominant Serena Williams seals career Golden Slam
SERENA Williams became only the second woman to complete a career Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women’s final in Olympic history yesterday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1.
The victory completed a remarkable run of domination by the No.4-seeded Williams, who lost only 17 games in six matches en route to her first singles gold medal. She went 13-0 this summer at the All England Club, where she won her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago.
“I was so focused here,” she said. “I remember I was serving and I was thinking: ‘Serena, this is your best chance to win a gold medal. You’re at Wimbledon, you’re on grass, you play great on grass, pull it together, just win this.’ And that’s what I thought about.”
The career Golden Slam was first achieved by Steffi Graf, who did it when she won at the Olympics in 1988 after sweeping all four major titles. Williams can add the gold medal to her 14 Grand Slam singles championships, the most of any active woman.
It took the No.3-seeded Sharapova 45 minutes to win a game, and by then she trailed 6-0, 3-0. Williams dominated with her serve and repeatedly blasted winners from the baseline, taking a big swing with almost every stroke despite gusty conditions on Centre Court.
When Sharapova wasn’t lunging or whiffing as the ball whizzed past, she was caught off-balance trying to block back shots at her feet. Williams finished with ten aces, 24 winners and only seven unforced errors.
“She’s playing incredibly confident tennis,” Sharapova said. “Her shots were very powerful.”
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the bronze by beating No.14-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4. Sharapova’s loss allowed Azarenka to retain the No.1 ranking.
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