Serena Williams: How 2012 Olympics Gold Medal Would Impact USA Star's Legacy

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2012

STANFORD, CA - JULY 15:  Serena Williams celebrates match point against Coco Vandeweghe during the final of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford University Taube Family Tennis Stadium on July 15, 2012 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

American tennis star Serena Williams can add an impressive note to her legendary resume this summer with a gold medal in women's singles at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Winning Olympic gold will put her behind only one as the second-greatest female tennis player of all time. Steffi Graff, who won gold at the 1988 Games, boasts 22 career major tournament championships, so Williams will need a few more titles before she can enter the GOAT conversation. 

What Williams does have: two Olympic gold medals in doubles competition, which she won in 2000 and most recently in 2008 at the Beijing Games with her sister Venus. But oh, what a solo gold would mean for Serena, though, especially nearing the end of her prime at age 30.

Williams should and will be the favorite to take home women's singles gold as well. After all, she aced her way through the world's best female players at Wimbledon a few weeks ago. Williams now has five championships at the historic All England Club, and she will be right at home when she returns to London this summer.

Williams is 67-8 in singles competition for her career on Wimbledon's grass, which equates to a match-winning percentage greater than 89 percent. So, there's no denying that Williams will be a factor on her own in singles in London. Her legacy at the prestigious tennis club will also become one of if not the most memorable with an Olympic triumph.

She boasts 14 individual Grand Slam championships, ranking her fourth, just behind Steffi Graf, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova on the female all-time list. Adding a rare Olympic gold medal would put Williams among the elite in tennis history. Williams has already accomplished everything a champion tennis player can, minus the singles gold. 

Considering that the Olympics are only every four years, it's refreshing to see Williams lay it all on the line for the United States in London just one month after a grueling competition that allowed her the perfect opportunity to take a break from the sport in order to bask in her achievement.

Tennis fans will certainly take notice of Williams' drive this summer if they haven't already. That being said, the 30-year-old's legacy will only grow in 2012 regardless of her Olympic outcome. Williams has a rare opportunity to join the game's best atop the sport's peak.

With an Olympic singles gold, Williams would surpass Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and move into the No. 2 spot all time on the women's side. 


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