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Serena Williams Ousts Caroline Wozniacki to Advance to Olympic Tennis Semifinals

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Serena Williams of the United States serves to Vera Zvonareva of Russia during the third round of Women's Singles Tennis on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wimbledon on August 1, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2012

American tennis star Serena Williams continued her impressive run at the London Olympic Games on Day 6 as she obliterated No. 8-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3 in straight sets to advance to the women's semifinals. This assures that she will play for a medal at the very least.

Williams is just a few weeks clear of winning her fifth career Wimbledon singles title, and her dominance at the All England Club has been just as evident during the Olympic Games. She has yet to drop a set in the tournament and hasn't lost more than three games in a single set either.

Wozniacki has struggled since ascending to the No. 1 ranking in late 2010 and is known as a player who can't win the big match. You could say that her reputation reared its ugly head in the quarterfinals, but she simply ran into a buzz saw that I'm not sure any player in the world can navigate past at this point.

Williams has battled through injuries over the past couple years, but her Wimbledon performance certainly seemed to show that she is back on track and is the best women's player in the world, regardless of what the rankings say.

Williams has a career Grand Slam to her credit, and she has won countless other tournaments, but the one glaring omission from her trophy case is an Olympic medal in singles competition. She and her sister, Venus, took gold in doubles in both 2008 and 2000 and may do so again in London, but Serena has yet to medal as an individual.

She is now just one win away from changing that and two wins away from winning gold. An American hasn't won singles tennis gold since Venus turned the trick in Sydney, so Team USA is definitely due. The American women in particular have a rich history of Olympic tennis success, but I'm not sure that any past gold medalist was as dominant as Serena Williams is right now.

For quite some time there was a concern that Williams was more worried about outside ventures like fashion rather than tennis. Her play had fallen off for a couple years, but at the age of 30, she is showing that she still has a true passion for the sport, and she is playing about as well as she did a decade ago.

Williams will now go on to face Belarusian star Victoria Azarenka for a chance to reach the gold-medal match. Azarenka is the current world No. 1 and the 2012 Australian Open champion, so she isn't a pushover by any means.

Williams did manage to score a tidy 6-3, 7-6 victory over Azarenka in the Wimbledon semis, however, so she isn't very far removed from beating Azarenka in an identical situation. Regardless of what happens in that match, Williams stands a great chance of reaching the podium and accomplishing her dream.

The top stars in women's tennis are younger and more athletic than ever, but Williams continues to dominate with sheer will and power, and Wozniacki experienced that firsthand on Thursday.

 

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