In order to make it to the gold-medal game at the London 2012 Olympics, American superstar Serena Williams needed to defeat Jelena Jankovic in the opening ground. Jankovic is a former world #1, currently ranked #18. She has appeared in three grand-slam semifinals matches.
In that same round, so-called “Russian” Maria Sharapova only needed to defeat Shahar Peer. Peer is currently ranked #58 in the world and has never ranked higher than #13 in her career. Peer has never once in her life been in a grand-slam semi.
This pattern continued throughout the tournament. Williams then had to defeat current #13 and former world #2 Vera Zvonareva, who has appeared in two grand-slam finals. Next was former world #1 Caroline Wozniaki, followed by current world #1 Victoria Azarenka, both current top-10 players.
Her semi-finals match came against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko,a player who has never been ranked higher than #20 and who has never once appeared in a grand slam semi-final match, much less a final. She faced Kim Clijsters, who has won multiple grand slams but who is in the twilight of her career and currently ranked a miserable #36. And she faced Sabine Lisicki, world #20, with one grand slam semi to her credit, only barely managing to defeat her.
In sum, Williams needed to defeat not one but two of the current top ten players in the world (and three current or former number one players) just to reach the gold-medal match. Sharapova did not have to face even one top ten opponent. In fact, she didn’t have to face a single top 15 player before being given the chance to win a gold medal. As we have documented since the earliest days of this blog, Sharapova is one of the luckiest human beings ever born to live, and her entire tennis career is based on nothing but dumb luck of exactly this kind.
The results when Sharapova stepped on the court to face Williams were predictable.
Sharapova lost the first nine games in row. She double-faulted on the her first service point and she double-faulted on her first game point. Up to then, she had managed only a woeful 57% first-serve accuracy. By the time one of the most pathetic and humiliating one-sided final matches in the history of Wimbledon had concluded, Sharapova had seen her vaunted serve broken five times and had won less than half as many points as Williams, a player she has not defeated in eight years. The match lasted just 63 minutes from start to finish, and Sharapova won only one of 13 games played. Williams won the match on a service ace
Sharapova showed that she did not deserve to be on the same court as Williams. She showed that her victories over Williams back in 2004 were freak occurrences, as have been all of her grand slam victories.
As we have previously shown, it was a total sham for Russia to have Sharapova carry its flag at the opening ceremonies. Sharapova is as much of a fraud as a “Russian” as she is as a tennis player, having lived her entire life in the USA and having learned her game there. Here citizenship of Russia is in name only. Had Sharapova won the gold medal, she would have taken it back home to the USA, not to Russia.
This brutal defeat of Russia’s flag-bearer at the hands of an American in London is one of the lowest moments in the history of Russian sport. It comes on the heels of America’s thrashing of the Russian female gymnastic team in both the team and all-around competitions, and on the heels of American Michael Phelps dethroning Russian Larissa Latynina as the winningest athlete in the history of the Olympiad.
And to make Russia’s horror complete, Serena then turned around and teamed up with her sister Venus to oust Russians Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova in the doubles semifinal, advancing for a chance at yet more golden glory.