And now, your Monday morning feel-good Olympics update: Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova in straight sets to take the gold medal in women’s tennis singles on Saturday. With that victory, she became only the second women in history to complete a “Golden Slam”: winning all four Grand Slam tournaments, plus a gold medal. Then Williams went on to take home the gold in doubles with her sister, Venus, later the same day. And how was your weekend?
It was only a little over two months ago that Williams suffered what tennis writer Chris Chase called “one of the biggest upsets in tennis history” at the French Open. She broke down in tears in the middle of her first-round upset against a player ranked 111th in the world.
Clearly, she rebounds fast. After taking just an hour and three minutes to trounce Sharapova, Williams beamed and did an adorable little “crip walk” dance on the court. As the Washington Post, explains, “The dance was popularized by gang members from Williams’ home town, Compton, Calif., well before she was born. Over time, it was popularized fondly while its roots were ignored.” At one time, MTV wouldn’t play videos featuring the once-controversial dance, but by now it’s nothing more than a “funky dance,” as the Post puts it. That didn’t stop some commentators from tut-tutting over the supposedly unsophisticated dance. Williams seemed unfazed: “It’s just a dance we do in California.”
In an unfortunate bit of symbolism, a strong wind blew the American flag off its crossbar while the national anthem played during the medal ceremony. Sharapova’s Russian flag and the bronze medalist’s Belarusian flag continued to flutter up above. But by that point, no bad omen could take away Williams’s gold, and she just laughed it off.
Flag flap and dance mini-controversy aside, the real story here is Williams’s incredible show on the court. “One of the most dominating performances in the history of the sport,” Jay Berger, the American Olympic tennis team’s men’s coach, told the New York Times. “She just showed she’s the best player in the world right now.”