London - Serena Williams clinched her first
Olympic singles gold medal with a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Maria Sharapova
in the most one-sided women's final in the history of the Games on
Williams' victory, which surpassed Suzanne Lenglen's
6-3, 6-0 win over Dorothy Holman in the 1920 final in Antwerp, is the
culmination of an incredible grass-court campaign that has brought the
American her fifth Wimbledon crown and now the third gold medal of a
The 30-year-old, who has won two doubles gold
medals with sister Venus, is just the second woman to win a Golden Slam
of all four major titles and singles gold, emulating German legend
Steffi Graf, who achieved the feat in 1988 when she won the five titles
in the same year.
Serena is also the first woman to complete a
Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. And the 14-time Grand Slam
champion isn't finished yet.
She could yet leave the All England
Club with another gold as she and Venus are through to the doubles
semi-finals, where they are due to face Russia's Maria Kirilenko and
Nadia Petrova later on Saturday.
It is hard to believe that, just
two months ago, Serena was being written off as a fading force against
her French Open first round exit against Virginie Razzano.
30-year-old's reponse to that defeat in Paris has been breathtaking and,
whatever the rankings say, there can be no doubt who remains the
pre-eminent force in the women's game.
Williams, the world number
four didn't surrender a single set in her six Olympic singles matches
and lost just 17 games, crushing, amongst others, French Open champion
Sharapova, current world number one Victoria Azarenka and two other
former world number ones in Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.
a brief delay when Serena returned to the locker room, leaving
Sharapova standing on the baseline waiting to start the match, the
American unveiled the weapon that has tormented opponents since she
arrived at Wimbledon in June.
Williams hit 162 aces throughout
Wimbledon and the Games, where she had dropped serve only once en route
to the final, and the American smashed down three of them in the first
game of the match.
Sharapova looked shell-shocked by Serena's blistering start and immediately dropped her own serve to love.
That was all the encouragement Serena needed to go for the kill.
kept peppering Sharapova with ferocious groundstrokes from the baseline
and even a player of the world number three's calibre was rendered
helpless in the face of such a relentless barrage.
Another break in the fourth game sealed the set for Serena and she kept her foot on the gas in the second set.
Sharapova, who has now lost nine of her 11 meetings with Williams, had a face like thunder as Serena continued her masterclass.
Serena broke in the second game of the second set it was clear there
would be no repeat of Sharapova's famous Wimbledon final win over
Williams in 2004.
Now Sharapova's only ambition was to avoid the
total humiliation of a whitewash and she did at least manage that,
getting on the scoreboard at last after losing nine consecutive games.
Serena refused to bend any further and she broke for a 5-1 lead before
clinching the gold in 63 minutes with, fittingly, one last thunderous