*Centre Court at the All England Club, Wimbledon played host to the worst Olympic tennis beat down since 1920, (Suzanne Lenglen of France beat Dorothy Holman of Britain 6-3, 6-0) on this windy Saturday in London (so windy the American flag blew clean away).
Serena Williams (4th-seeded) all but completely shut out her rival and world no. 3, Maria Sharapova of Russia, in a 6-0, 6-1 annihilation during the Olympic tennis Gold Medal match. Commentators and spectators knew there would be blood from a meeting between two of the hardest hitting women on the WTA tour, but no one expected Sharapova to leave the massive puddle behind that she did. The match was over in just outside an hour.
Serena Williams, at 31 years old, emerged from the proverbial woodshed with not only an Olympic gold medal, which was the last accolade she hadn’t received over the course of her illustrious career, but also with a career Golden Slam (won all 4 major tournaments at least once and the Olympic gold medal). She is only the second woman to have done so in the history of tennis (Steffi Graf also achieved the prestigious feat). Both Williams and Sharapova were in contention for the distinction.
The match began ominously for the 6’2″ Russian, as Williams slammed down 3 aces and one unreturnable serve on the way to winning the opening game of the match and she didn’t look back. That set the stage for a 9 game run and tennis clinic, which saw Sharapova either watching balls go by that she couldn’t even touch or spraying balls all over the stadium that she simply couldn’t handle. It was winner after winner, ace after ace (24 and 10). The stunned crowd could barely catch their breath.
Media personality, Chelsea Handler, who was in Maria Sharapova’s box all week and had seemingly been the 2012 French Open winner’s good luck charm up to that point, was able to channel no such luck during the massacre; Serena Williams was simply too good and too determined.
Once the match was complete, with Sharapova winning just one game, Williams let out her signature roar, jumped repeatedly for joy and did a celebration “crip walk” at her chair.
If the score hadn’t been settled before for the upset Sharapova delivered to Williams during the Wimbledon final of 2004, today, on the world stage of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Serena Williams showed tennis fans who’s boss and the true world no. 1.
Next up, the 14-time Slam champion and 2012 Wimbledon winner will join her sister, Venus Williams, in competing for their third Olympic gold medal together in doubles. They will compete in the semis against the Czech Republic, today.