The world-class talents of Serena Williams were showcased at the London 2012 Olympics in spectacular fashion on the sacred grounds of Wimbledon. In a gold medal showdown against former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova of Russia, Williams came out guns ablaze as she bageled her opponent 6-0 in the first set. She missed the Athens Olympics due to injury in 2004 and was bungled out in the quarterfinals by the consequent gold medalist Elena Dementieva in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making this gold a must win.
An in-form and mentally fit Williams is arguably the best player in the world and is not to be trifled with, especially in the final stages of a tournament. This proved to be precisely the case as she dominated the second set reaching a score of 3-0 before finally conceding a point to make it 3-1.
Commentators offered that they had never seen “Serena be this dominant.”
A visibly shaken Sharapova tried to savor the momentum to overcome the hard-hitting American climbing back from 40-15 to deuce on Williams’ serve. Celebrity guest in the Russians player’s box Chelsea Handler offered her vocal support as Williams saved two break points to make the score to 4-1 in the second set.
Sharapova known for her mental toughness was unsettled allowing Serena Williams to break her service game and attempt to serve out the gold medal match.
Finally, with her ever-present family and Sydney 2000 gold medalist sister Venus watching, Serena Williams took out the second set 6-1 offering a celebratory dance for the crowd to enjoy. This was history in motion as Williams joined an exclusive list of former greats to have recorded major wins on all surfaces and now a gold Olympic medal to add to her collection. It should be noted that Graf is the only player in the modern era to have ever completed a Golden Slam in the same calendar year. This means that in 1988 she won all four majors and a gold medal at the Seoul Olympics. The Seoul Olympics also serving as the year that tennis was re-introduced as a medal-winning event.
However, knowing that she has a career Golden Slam in her repertoire, Williams found it hard to contain her glee as she was awarded the elusive gold medal on Wimbledon’s center court. Sharapova claimed the silver and Victoria Azarenka the bronze medal.
“Doesn’t get any better than this, winning gold at the all England club,” Williams said.
Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports
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