Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Serena Williams poses with her gold medal after defeating Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 at London 2012
Serena Williams poses with her gold medal after defeating Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 at London 2012

Olympics: ‘Disastrous’ health issues drove Serena Williams to success

Serena Williams powered her way to the most one-sided women's Olympic final ever as she admits her health issues were the spur for success at London 2012.

LONDON // Serena Williams said "disastrous" health problems spurred her on to a career golden slam in the most one-sided women's Olympic final ever.

The 30 year old smashed her way to gold in a 6-0 6-1 victory over Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon.

Before yesterday, the most one-sided final had been in 1920 when Suzanne Lenglen beat Dorothy Homan 6-3 6-0.

Williams is the first person to win the golden slam in both singles and doubles and the first person to do it in singles since Steffi Graf won all five titles in 1988. She lost just 17 games in the entire tournament.

The Wimbledon champion said: "I've really been training hard and the injuries have been disastrous for me.

"I feel like I could have had more slams, but I was fortunate enough to survive what I went through and it made me a better person and maybe a better player.

"Who knows if I would have had this desire to do well and to play otherwise?

"I wanted it more and I think the health struggles made me want it more."

The 14-times Grand Slam winner is now on a 17-match winning streak and finished the match with two aces, asserting her utter dominance.

Her victory matched her 6-1 6-0 win over another Russian, Vera Zvonareva, in the third round.

She jumped up and down and danced with delight as she clinched the Olympic title.

Williams has lost just five games in the three Olympic finals she has won: 2000 Sydney doubles, 2008 Beijing doubles and 2012 London singles.

She said: "Being Olympic gold champion, Golden Slam singles and doubles, that's pretty awesome. I would have been happy whether I'd got silver or gold because it's such a great achievement to get on that medal stand.

"But obviously I've won a gold. It's a big moment. I've always wanted to win a gold.

"I was really focused today and when you're playing a great player like Maria you've got to come ready to play. She had a chance of winning a golden slam and I did too.

"I don't know if it was domination it was just me being really focused and I think the grass suits me, it just all came together.

"I've done something no one else has done so I'm really excited about it."

Sharapova, 25, was competing in her first Olympic Games and received enthusiastic support from the Wimbledon crowd despite being on the receiving end of the one-sided encounter.

After the match, the Russian said: "I am so proud of my accomplishment here. It's magnificent to be at the Olympic Games for the first time and leave with a silver medal.

"It was such a great experience, certainly a tough tournament, and I can't wait for the four years to come around to get another chance."

During the medal ceremony the US flag came loose in the wind, but it did not fluster Williams, who said: "Obviously it wasn't intentional, it was just really windy. Hey, it's life."

If she and her sister Venus win the doubles final today they will both have four gold medals, which no-one else has achieved before.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National