Serena Williams Captures Olympics Tennis Gold

Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning the women's singles gold medal match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning the women's singles gold medal match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.
x
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning the women's singles gold medal match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.
Serena Williams of the U.S. celebrates after winning the women's singles gold medal match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.
Parke Brewer

LONDON — American tennis star Serena Williams captured the women’s singles gold medal Saturday at the London Olympics about one month after capturing the Wimbledon title on the same court.

On a sunny, windy day, Serena Williams came out with power and a vengeance, opening her match against Russian Maria Sharapova with a love game in which three of the four points came on blistering service aces.

She won the first nine games and coasted to a 6-0, 6-1 victory in barely over one hour to win her first individual Olympics gold medal.  It gives her the so-called “Golden Slam” for having won all four of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments (the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon), plus the Olympics.

German Steffi Graf is the only other player to achieve the feat, doing it in 1988.  Williams is the only one to do it in both singles and doubles.


  • Gold medalist Jamaica's gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (C) wins the women's 100m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • Britain's Mohamed Farah celebrates with his daughter Rihanna after winning the men's 10,000m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • South Africa's Oscar Pistorius (L) and Russia's Maksim Dyldin compete in the men's 400m heats at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce celebrates after winning the women's 100m final at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • Nigeria's Regina George competes in the women's 400m semifinals at the athletics event of the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • US swimmer Michael Phelps poses after receiving the trophy of the greatest olympic athlete of all time after winning gold in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • US swimmer Michael Phelps (C) reacts with teammates Brendan Hansen, Nathan Adrian and Matthew Grevers after they competed in the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • China's Sun Yang reacts after he won gold in the men's 1500m freestyle final during the swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • Russia's Andrey Demanov competes during the men's 94kg group A weightlifting event of the London 2012 Olympic Games at The Excel Centre in London on August 4, 2012.
  • China's Li Xuerui (R) and compatriot Wang Yihan pose with their gold and silver medals respectively after their gold medal women's singles badminton match at the London 2012 Olympic Games in London, August 4, 2012.
  • Gold medalist Britain's Jessica Ennis poses on the podium of the heptathlon at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 4, 2012 in London.
  • Yamaguchi Falcao Florentino of Brazil exits the ring victorious over Fanlong Meng of China in their round of 16 Light-heavyweight (81kg) match of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Day 8 of Competition (Click to View Gallery)
Williams had previously won Olympic doubles gold medals with older sister Venus in Sydney in 2000 and four years ago in Beijing.

Serena said this win was special. “I’ve always wanted to win a gold medal secretly, and I’ve always said, it doesn’t matter because I already have a gold medal and I really believe that, and I really felt that. But deep, deep, deep, deep down I wanted it in singles as well and I got it.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I can’t compare it.  I have them all, so it’s a great feeling," she said.

Sharapova said it is clear Serena has been playing with a lot of confidence. “After winning Wimbledon you’ve seen her level progress so much here over this tournament.  With every match she’s played she’s playing better, hitting harder, and so much power on the ball, even against the wind today, her shots were very powerful.  She’s done an incredible job of keeping that up," she said.

Williams was so happy after her victory that she jumped in the air, and then performed a little jig at the side of the court. “I love to dance and I didn’t know what else to do I was so happy, and the next thing I know I started bouncing and moving and I didn’t plan it.  It just happened," she said.

As the American flag was being raised during the playing of the national anthem at the medal ceremony, the wind blew it down.

When asked if she knew what happened, she said, “I just saw all these gusts of wind, and you see the flag flying and you’re like, ohhh.  It was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy and it didn’t quite make it, but almost.

Winning the women’s tennis bronze medal was Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.  She beat Russian Maria Kirilenko (6-3, 6-4).

The United States also won the gold medal in men’s doubles Saturday, with twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan defeating Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6-4, 7-6).  The bronze went to Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau.

Serena and Venus Williams will play for the women’s doubles gold medal Sunday, and home favorite Andy Murray, who upset Serbian star Novak Djokovic in the semifinals, will play world No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland for the men’s gold.

Federer will aim to do what Serena did by winning the Wimbledon title last month and the Olympic title this month at the All England Club.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs