In 1988, Steffi Graf conquered all four Major titles and the singles gold medal at the Olympics for the so-called Golden Slam. The only player who had the opportunity to chase those five titles after the great German was Serena Williams, completing a career Grand Slam already in 2003 when she won the Australian Open title, with plenty of time for adding the Olympic gold medal to her collection.
Nonetheless, it seemed to be running away from her for years, missing the events in 2000 and 2004 and losing in the quarter-final to the eventual champion Elena Dementieva in Beijing 2008. Still, Serena tested the Olympic success in the doubles after winning the gold medal with her sister Venus in 2000 and 2008.
At 30, Serena had a perfect chance to finally take the Olympic singles gold in London 2012. The American returned to Wimbledon a few weeks after conquering the fifth singles title at the All England Club and delivered incredible tennis in all six encounters.
Thus, she became the first player in tennis history with all four Majors and the Olympic gold in both singles and doubles! Serena had to beat five top-20 rivals en route to a historic achievement, which was hardly an obstacle for her after dropping 17 games in 12 sets (never more than three in a single set) to earn the title after one of the career-best weeks.
On August 4, Williams toppled a former Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 in swift 62 minutes, notching her sixth win over the Russian in eight matches to embrace the Olympic glory. This was the perfect revenge for that 2004 Wimbledon final loss when Sharapova went all the way at 17, playing nowhere near that level eight years later and never standing a chance against the mighty opponent.
Serena had 24 winners and just seven unforced errors in what has been one of the best matches she ever played, dominating both serve and return to leave Maria miles behind.