WIMBLEDON, England (AP) -- Serena Williams became only the second woman to complete a career Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women's final in Olympic history Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1. The victory completed a remarkable run of domination by the No. 4-seeded Williams, who lost only 17 games in six matches en route to her first singles gold medal. She went 13-0 this summer at the All England Club, where she won her fifth Wimbledon title a month ago. The career Golden Slam was first achieved by Steffi Graf, who did it when she won at the Olympics in 1988 after sweeping all four major titles. Williams can add the gold medal to her 14 Grand Slam singles championships, the most of any active woman. And she's not done in London. Williams and her sister Venus, pursuing their third gold in doubles, were scheduled to play in the semifinals later Saturday. It took the No. 3-seeded Sharapova 45 minutes to win a game, and by then she trailed 6-0, 3-0. Williams dominated with her serve and repeatedly blasted winners from the baseline, taking a big swing with almost every stroke despite gusty conditions on Centre Court. The wind was so strong it blew the U.S. flag off its pole during the medal ceremony. When Sharapova wasn't lunging or whiffing as the ball whizzed past, she was caught off-balance trying to block back shots at her feet. Williams finished with 10 aces, 24 winners and only seven unforced errors. Sharapova completed a career Grand Slam in June by winning the French Open, but Williams beat her for the eighth consecutive time. The most one-sided previous women's final was in 1920, when France's Suzanne Lenglen beat Dorothy Holman of Great Britain, 6-3, 6-0. Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the bronze by beating No. 14-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4. Sharapova's loss allowed Azarenka to retain the No. 1 ranking. Roger Federer will try to complete a career Golden Slam when he plays Andy Murray of Britain in the men's final Sunday. Williams took charge of the final from the start, sweeping the first eight points. The crowd wanted to see a contest and saved its biggest cheers for the rare occasions when Sharapova won a point. There was no giving up by the Russian, one of the most dogged players on the women's tour, but there was no letup from Williams. When she ripped a return winner for a 2-0 lead in the second set, she screamed "Come on!" as if trying to jump-start her game. She had a similar outburst two games later after whacking a winner to erase a break point, one of only two she faced. She was broken just once in the tournament. At 15-15 in the final game, a spectator shouted, "Don't give up, Maria." One point later someone else hollered, "Maria, I still want to marry you." When Williams closed out the victory with her 60th ace of the tournament, she let out a long scream. After shaking hands with Sharapova, Williams hopped a dozen times on the grass she loves, waved and then hopped some more. Williams was still jumping about as she put on her Team USA jacket for the medal ceremony. Then she began to dance.
Super Bowl LII (52) will feature the New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC Champion) against the Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles (NFC Champion) at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 4, 2018.
If they go on to advance, the Vikings would become the first team to ever ‘host’ the Super Bowl in their home stadium. They are the third to play the game in their home state. Minnesota will be looking for their first Super Bowl title in five tries, the most appearances by any team without a championship.
Philadelphia is looking for their first title ever as well, and doing it with a back-up quarterback Nick Foles. They have been the underdog in every game this postseason; it would be no different in the Super Bowl.
New England is looking for their third Super Bowl over the past four years and their sixth championship since 2001. However, their path in the AFC Playoffs is arguably the easiest in their history. A win by the Patriots would tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most in NFL history with six.
The new kids one the block, the Jaguars are one win away from their first Super Bowl appearance in what is already the best year ever for the franchise. If Jacksonville were to pull it off, they would be the tenth team in NFL history to win in their first Super Bowl appearance.
Super Bowl LII Information:
When is Super Bowl 52?
6:15 pm ET, February 4, 2018
Who is playing in Super Bowl 52?
New England Patriots/ Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Minnesota Vikings/ Philadelphia Eagles
Where is Super Bowl 52?
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota
How can I watch Super Bowl 52 on TV?
Where can I stream Super Bowl 52?
The Super Bowl can be streamed for free on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.
Who are the announcers for Super Bowl 52?
Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Heather Cox
Who is performing the Super Bowl 52 halftime show?
Justin Timberlake is the Pepsi Super Bowl halftime performer. It is his third Super Bowl performance, previously performing in Super Bowl XXV and more famously in XXVIII with Janet Jackson.
What are the odds for Super Bowl 52?
New England Patriots: 6/5
Minnesota Vikings: 7/4
Philadelphia Eagles: 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars: 8/1
Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, January 21, 52 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 44
—NFL Draft (4/26) 95
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 231
Need to Know No. 2000
This is a special edition of Need to Know. It was 2,000 days ago, on July 31, 2012, that this post designed to give Redskins fans the news and views they need to get their days started was posted for the first time. And it has gone up every single morning since that day, 2,000 mornings in a row.
There is no reliable way to measure how many have read the post since site redesigns and name changes have made reliable tracking difficult. But NTK page views are estimated in the tens of millions. Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting, both on the site and on social media. It’s the passion of Redskins fans that makes the job so enjoyable.
Here is a look back at some of the “landmark” editions of Need to Know. I can’t like to all of them because of the aforementioned changes but it’s an interesting, random walk through Redskins history.
No. 1, “Hits to the depth chart”, 7/31/12—The Redskins were trying to deal with the losses of LB Jonathan Goff, who had suffered a season-ending knee injury, and G Kory Lichtensteiger, who was out after getting his knee scoped. Also, the Saints, who were the Redskins’ opponent in the opener, were complaining about the Bountygate penalties. A lot. See, even during training camp in 2012, NTK was able to look beyond RG3 hysteria to get you to the other important stories of the day.
No. 500, “Nickel coverage—Jordan Reed misses practice”, 12/13/13—Yes, the more things change the more things stay the same. The talented tight end, then a rookie, was still trying to a recover from a concussion he suffered a few weeks earlier. Reed ended up going on injured reserve, missing the last six games. Also, Mike Shanahan said that didn’t pay any attention to all of the negative talk about the team in the media and Kyle Shanahan said that didn’t have any input into the decision to bench RG3 and play Kirk Cousins. Both claims were greeted with skepticism.
No. 1,000, “Can the Redskins draft an immediate O-line starter?”, 4/27/15—This was just a couple of days before the draft. Brandon Scherff, who ended up being Redskins’ top pick at No. 5 overall, is not mentioned but he did indeed become the team’s selection. This was Scot McCloughan’s first draft and the identity of the Redskins’ first pick was still a mystery. Although Scherff’s name often came up, most mocks had them going with edge rusher Dante Fowler, who ended up going to the Jaguars at No. 3.
No. 1,500, “Redskins searching for back to back playoff spots”, 9/8/2016—This was a “By the numbers” look at the team as it approached their season opener against the Steelers. They were coming off of a playoff berth in 2015 and, as we know now, their streak of consecutive seasons without going to the playoffs at least two straight years would continue. In 2016 were able to stop a 19-year streak of not having back to back willing seasons, just barely, by going 8-7-1. One more interesting number from the post—Kirk Cousins’ pass completion percentage at home in 2015 was 74.7 percent, the highest in NFL history.
Again, thanks for reading. See you tomorrow for edition No. 2,001.
Tandler on Twitter
In case you missed it
- The Redskins week that was-Cousins' value, the Redskins' top draft pick
- Santana Moss has no interest in drafting Baker Mayfield
- McCloughan said what others think about Kirk Cousins