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Bite-sized highlights from day 8 at the Olympic tennis

The Union Jack waves among the Olympic nations' flags.
by Alexandra Willis
Saturday 4 August 2012

Arise Dame Serena

Serena Williams became the only player in tennis history to complete a golden career Grand Slam, the sweep of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, US Open, and Olympic gold, in singles, and doubles. Whether you like her or not, that is an astonishing achievement.

Williams was peerless in her 6-0, 6-1 defeat of Maria Sharapova in the women’s singles final, barely letting up for a second.

Then she came back out again for the doubles alongside sister Serena, the pair beating the all-Russian duo of Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko to reach their third Olympic doubles final together. Should they triumph together, they will become the only tennis players ever to win four Olympic gold medals.

What next for Maria?

Silver medallist Sharapova may have won the French Open and completed the career Slam, but her last win over Serena came in the final of the WTA Championships in 2004 when she was still just 17. That’s got to hurt. Will she pick herself up for the US Open?

Fitting medallists

With Victoria Azarenka completing the trio of medals with her straight sets defeat over Maria Kirilenko to win bronze, it was rather fitting that the three women’s medallists were the three women’s Grand Slam champions from 2012 to date.

Not the best moment for…

The Stars and Stripes. The American flag fell off the flag pole and blew away during the women’s singles medal ceremony.

But the stars and stripes had reason to fly again…

The Bryan brothers completed their own career golden Grand Slam with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in what they freely admitted was one of the greatest achievements of their career.

You couldn’t make it up

In a home games, you would hope that the home nation would perform well. But even the script-writers couldn’t have predicted this one. Laura Robson and Andy Murray won two matches in a day, in two match tie-breaks, to guarantee themselves a gold or silver medal.

The duo combined first against Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur on Centre Court, and then against Sabine Lisicki and Christopher Kas on No.1 Court.

Busy day for…

Victoria Azarenka. The Belarusian contested the bronze medal singles match against Maria Kirilenko, which she won, then came out to play mixed doubles with Max Mirnyi, which they won, then returned again in the last match of the day, beating Lisa Raymond and Mike Bryan, the Wimbledon champions, to reach the final.

Famous faces

World wheelchair No.1 Esther Vergeer watching the women’s singles final on Centre Court.

The London 2012 Olympic tennis is taking place at Wimbledon. Visit the ITF Olympics site for full scores, draws and the London 2012 site for video content, venue and schedule information. 

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