by Paula Vergara
It was a bit of a blustery day on Centre Court at Wimbledon, but both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams appeared ready to battle it out for the gold. Serena was the heavy favorite going into the match, with an 8-2 H2H lead over Sharapova. The two have played each other on two separate occasions on grass -- both at Wimbledon. Sharapova defeated Serena in 2004 to win the Wimbledon title. Then in 2010, Serena defeated Sharapova in the round of 16.
En route to the gold medal match, Serena blew past Jelena Jankovic, Urszula Radwanska, Vera Zvonareva, and Caroline Wozniacki, while Sharpova faced Shahar Peer, Laura Robson, Sabine Lisicki (who beat her at Wimbledon just a few weeks ago), Kim Clijsters, and Maria Kirilenko.
Serena's vice grip in these Olympic Games didn't let up at all in the gold medal match, scoring three aces in the first game vs. Sharapova. She won the first two games 40-0, which set the tone for a Serena-style smackdown. Sharapova was trailing 5-0 in the 1st set, and had a 40-0 lead on her serve. She tried desperately to hold her serve to get on the scoreboard, but Serena fought back to win the game. In just 30 minutes, Serena had crushed Sharapova with a bagel set, 6-0.
Sharapova had as short-lived resurgence in the 2nd set, with better rallies and quality shot-making, which earned her one game (at 3-1). Sharapova's game quickly began to unravel again, and simply couldn't get back into the match. In just over one hour, Serena won the match 6-0, 6-1, which earned Serena her first Olympic gold medal in singles, as well as a Career Golden Slam.
Not only did Serena Williams win Olympic gold, the 30-year-old has also taken over the top spot for the highest number of career titles for any active player: 44. This record was previously held by her sister, Venus, with 43.
Serena and Venus Williams will face the Czech team of Hlavackova and Kradecka in the Olympic doubles gold medal match on Sunday.
Click here for the Sunday Olympic tennis schedule.
Double Gold for the Bryan Brothers
Michaël Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6(2). This is the first Olympic gold medal for the 34-year-old twin brothers (they won bronze in 2008). They already have their sights set on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.