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2ND LEAD: Ruthless Serena Williams crushes Sharapova for singles gold By Simon Cambers, dpa Eds: adds Williams, Sharapova quotes, men's doubles, bylin

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London (dpa) - American Serena Williams filled the only hole in her resume as she demolished Russia‘s Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 to win the gold medal in the women‘s singles at Wimbledon on Saturday.

The fourth-ranked American turned in an utterly ruthless performance to crush the Russian and become only the second woman - after Germany‘s Steffi Graf - to win all four grand slam titles and the Olympic gold in her career.

American twins Bob and Mike Bryan completed a career golden slam of their own as they beat France‘s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra 6-4, 7-6 to win the men‘s doubles.

Williams roared as she hit her 10th ace to clinch victory before leaping up and down in the middle of the court. She is the only player in history to win singles and doubles at all four grand slam titles and at the Olympics.

"I didn‘t think I would be this happy," said Williams, who could barely stand still before being presented with the gold medal.

"I‘m so pumped, oh my gosh, I got the gold. I didn‘t think it could better than winning Wimbledon but you see how happy I am. I don‘t know what to do."

World No 3 Sharapova, who won the French Open in June for her fourth grand slam title, also had the chance to complete a golden career but was helpless in the face of the Williams onslaught.

Having won the Wimbledon title less than a month ago and not lost to Sharapova since 2004, Williams was the strong favourite and brilliant serving and heavy groundstrokes saw her to a dominant victory.

Sharapova finally got a game on the board at 6-0, 3-1 and had two chances to break back in the next game but Williams shut her out.

"I‘ve never played better on Centre Court," Williams said. "I‘ve won everything. Now I can go to Disneyworld."

Sharapova admitted there was little she could have done to change things.

"Obviously you want to win when you‘re in a final but she just played a lot better than me today," she said. "She was too powerful. She got confidence from Wimbledon and she was on fire."

"It means a lot (to win a medal). To win a medal as a first-time Olympian is an amazing accomplishment."

Belarus picked up their first ever tennis medal as world No 1 Victoria Azarenka beat another Russian, Maria Kirilenko, 6-3, 6-4 to win the bronze.

Hammered by Williams in the semi-final, Azarenka recovered her poise to see off Kirilenko, who was a surprise semi-finalist after beating former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

Azarenka clinched victory on her second match point before falling to her knees in joy.

"It means everything to me," Azarenka told dpa. "It was an incredible achievement to go out there after a tough day yesterday and to fight hard and to give my all. I am so proud of what I did and emotions are overwhelming.

"I‘m really proud of being the first Belarussian to get a tennis medal. "I hope we can continue in mixed and try to get another one." Spain.

Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet won the men‘s doubles bronze with a 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 victory over David Ferrer and Feliciano Lopez of Spain. dpa scl mis



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(19.12.2014 12:57)

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