Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 08/5/2012 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
WIMBLEDON, England -- Serena Williams became only the second woman to complete a career Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women's final in Olympic history Saturday 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.
And she's not done in London. Williams and her sister Venus, pursuing their third gold in doubles, beat Maria Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia 7-5, 6-4 in the semifinals. Their opponents today will be Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
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.
The wind was so strong it blew the U.S. flag off its pole during the medal ceremony.
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 5, 2012 B6
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