Williams: I did something nobody’s done
Originally published on: 05/08/12 00:00
Williams goes into the history books for becoming the first to achieve a career golden slam in singles and top it off with Olympic Gold in doubles – a record-breaking fourth Olympic gold for the Williams sisters.
”I did something nobody's done. So I'm really excited about it I haven't even had time to think about it," said Williams, already a 14-time Grand Slam champion.
The American's victory, her second at the All England Club this year having won the Championships for a fifth time last month, was emphatic. Williams hadn't claimed a singles medal at either of the two Olympics she had played prior to London but dropped just 17 games in her six matches to win gold.
"I was very consistent in this tournament from my first match to my last match," said Williams. "Singles and doubles I've been pretty consistent, playing well."
Beaten singles finalist Sharapova acknowledged the prolific level of her opponent.
“Look, she's playing incredibly confident tennis," admitted the Russian. "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, so much power on the ball. Even against the wind today, her shots were very powerful.”
That the Russian, who also has a career grand slam to her name, was able to take only one game off the winner is testament to how well Serena played, but Sharapova was still delighted to be a silver medallist at her first Olympic Games.
"For me to be a first Olympian and to leave with a silver is an amazing accomplishment," she said. "Obviously it's always disappointing to lose in the finals, but it's great to get a medal, that's for sure.”
Victoria Azarenka, who fell to Williams in the semi-finals, bounced back to beat Maria Kirilenko, the other losing semi-finalist, 6-3 6-4 for the bronze medal.
"It is just like everything came off my shoulders," said the Belarusian. "It was an incredible match. I felt so nervous today because it is not very usual for a tennis player once you lose to come back the next day and play, so it was incredibly hard but I am so glad I did it and it was worth it.”
After winning the first tennis medal ever for Belarus, she added: “I am really proud to be a part of that achievement for my country."