LONDON Aug 4 American Serena Williams won
Olympic tennis singles gold on Saturday, becoming the first
player to win all four grand slams and an Olympic title in
singles and doubles, with her U.S. team mates Bob and Mike Bryan
later taking the men's doubles gold.
Russia's Maria Sharapova took home the women's singles
silver, while world number one Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won
In the men's doubles, France claimed two medals, with
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra winning silver and their
compatriots Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet taking bronze.
Williams demolished number three seed Sharapova 6-0 6-1 in
just over an hour to complete her "golden slam", and could
hardly contain her excitement, jumping up and down as she waited
to step on to the podium to collect her medal.
"I didn't think I would be this happy. I'm so pumped," the
30-year-old said, laughing off a mishap which saw the U.S. flag
whipped off the rail by a gust of wind half way through the
"I never thought I would have a gold medal in singles."
Williams, who already had two doubles gold medals with
sister Venus, has surpassed the rare singles golden slam, a feat
only achieved by Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi and Rafa Nadal.
"It's a great feeling. I never thought that it would happen
to me. Steffi Graf was such an inspiration," she said. "I always
thought the one person I wouldn't be mentioned in the same
breath as was Steffi Graf. She's done everything."
The Bryan twins also secured a doubles "golden slam" with
their 6-4 7-6 win over France's Tsonga and Llodra.
"This is the biggest win of our career right here. Serena
got everything rolling for the USA and we kind of got going on
fire. It's unbelievable," said Bob, who has won 11 grand slam
titles and an Olympic bronze in Beijing with his brother.
Belarusian Azarenka overcame a semi-final thrashing by
Williams to win her country's first tennis medal with a 6-3 6-4
victory over Russian Maria Kirilenko, while France's Benneteau
and Gasquet secured their bronze with a 7-6 6-2 defeat of
Spain's David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez.
"We have it, we have the medal, we have it for life, so it's
something special. For me this is a very huge thing to have an
Olympic medal. It's amazing," said Benneteau.
"For France it is a good day today."
Williams's win over Russian opening ceremony flag bearer
Sharapova, who didn't even win a point until the third game of
the match, was the most one-sided women's singles final in
Later she and Venus, who herself won singles gold in Sydney
in 2000, booked their place in the women's doubles final with a
much more closely fought 7-5 6-4 win over Russia's Maria
Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova.
The Williams sisters will take on Czech duo Andrea
Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka for the gold on Sunday, with the
Americans bidding to become the first tennis players to win four
Olympic gold medals.
Sunday will also see the final of the mixed doubles, which
has returned to the Games for the first time since 1924.
Britain's Andy Murray and Laura Robson, who played both
their quarter-final and semi-final matches on Saturday after
rain delays squeezed the schedule, will face Belarus's Azarenka
and Max Mirnyi in the final.
Murray will first have to take on world number one Roger
Federer in the men's singles final.
Mike Bryan will also be back on court, this time with Lisa
Raymond to play Germany's Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas for
the mixed double's bronze.
Mike, who celebrated his men's double win by jumping on
brother Bob for a bear hug, is hoping the excitement of winning
the men's doubles gold will carry him through.
"That's the longest we've ever hugged," he said. "There
hasn't been a more special feeling than this ... I got to carry
that into the mixed."
(editing by Michael Holden)