Serena Williams Beats Maria Sharapova For Olympic Gold

Serena Williams became only the second woman to achieve a career Golden Slam after defeating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in the women’s finals Saturday, according to the Boston Globe.

Williams lost only 17 games in six matches on her way to her first singles gold medal. Last month, she went 13-0 at the All England Club, where she won her fifth Wimbledon title.

Maria Sharapova, who was the No. 3-seed, took 45 minutes to win a game against the No. 4-seeded Williams. She then trailed 6-0, 3-0.

Despite gusty conditions, Williams was able to maintain the upper hand for the majority of the competition. After she won, a strong wind blew the U.S. flag off its pole during the medal ceremony. The flag came to rest in front of the Royal Box and Williams said,

“It was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy.”

The first woman to achieve a career Golden Slam was Steffi Graf, who won in 1988 after sweeping the four major titles. Williams said she grew up watching Graf and always liked her, but never thought she’d have the chance to be mentioned in the same breath as her.

Serena Williams can add her Golden Slam medal to her 14 Grand Slam singles championship wins. That is the most of any active woman in the sport. She is also the first player to achieve a Golden Slam in both the singles and doubles competitions.

Williams and her sister Venus will be pursuing their third gold medal in the doubles semifinals later Saturday.

Maria Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam in June at the French Open, but Williams beat her for the eighth consecutive time. The last women’s final that was so lopsided was in 1920 when France’s Suzanne Lenglen beat Britain’s Dorothy Homan 6-3, 6-0.

Sharapova said of Williams,

“She was not making any mistakes, not giving me many opportunities. She served extremely well and found the spots… She’s an extremely powerful player, so that makes it a little more difficult.”

Sharapova hasn’t beaten Serena Williams since 2008, and Williams completed her victory over Sharapova with her 60th ace of the tournament.