Three weeks after winning Wimbledon Serena Williams was back on the rapidly refurbished lawns of the All England Club to compete for Olympic gold, picking up where she left off with an imperious run to gold.
WTA Staff

The seventh and final stop-off on's trip down Olympics memory lane is the 2012 Games in London, which saw Serena Williams add a golden sheen to a magical summer?

London, United Kingdom, 2012
All England Club

Twelve years after watching courtside as her sister won gold in Sydney, Serena Williams produced arguably the performance of her career to finally follow in her footsteps.

Injury in 2004 and a shock defeat to Elena Dementieva four years later left Serena, the outstanding player of her generation, with one gap remaining on an otherwise flawless resume: an Olympic singles gold medal.

Of all the players in the draw, perhaps only Venus could match Serena's joy at hearing of the All England Club's selection as an Olympic venue. With a record second to none on Wimbledon's hallowed lawns - she lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish for a fifth time three weeks prior to the start of the Games - even as No.4 seed, Serena started as most people's favorite for the tournament.

So often a slow starter at tennis' flagship events, Serena hit the ground running at a curiously liveried All England Club. She fired out an early warning shot, brushing aside former No.1 Jelena Jankovic for the loss of four games in the opening round.

Ominously for her title rivals, she got better as the rounds progressed, clinically dispatching the top seed Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals.

This set up a showdown with French Open champion Maria Sharapova. Serena had won the pair's last seven meetings, and she continued this mastery of the Russian, whom she brutally overwhelmed with a combination of masterful serving and bullet-like groundstrokes.

At one point near the end of the first set, Serena had hit more aces than her opponent had won points. The American struck 10 aces and 24 winners in all and made only seven unforced errors in her 63 minutes on court.

Gold saw the 30-year-old become the first player ever to win all four Grand Slams and the Olympics in both singles and doubles, an achievement which dotted the i's and crossed the t's in modern tennis' most comprehensive of careers.

"Oh, my gosh, this one is so high up there," Williams said after the final. "Being Olympic gold champion, being Golden Slam champion in singles and doubles, that's pretty awesome.

"I did something nobody's done. So I'm really excited about that."


Olympic Memories: Beijing
Olympic Memories: Athens
Olympic Memories: Sydney
Olympic Memories: Atlanta
Olympic Memories: Barcelona
Olympic Memories: Seoul