Our guest blogger Omair likes to give WTA players unofficial titles on the account of their performance at big events. Notice how Serena improved from the Biggest Disappointment at Roland Garros, to Grass Empress at Wimbledon, to shortly afterwards become a Golden Empress at the Olympics.
SERENA WILLIAMS – GOLDEN EMPRESS
With her first gold medal in singles at the Olympics, Serena completed her Career Golden Slam, joining Steffi Graf and becoming only the second woman to achieve such a feat. Moreover, Serena did that in style, losing a total of 17 games in six matches. En route to the medal, Serena defeated four players who have ranked world number one at some point (Jelena Jankovic in the first round, Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals, Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals and Maria Sharapova in the final). She also became the only tennis player in history to complete Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. With such a strong performance, Serena reinforces her title of grass empress earned during Wimbledon 2012.
MARIA SHARAPOVA, VICTORIA AZARENKA – BRIDESMAIDS
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Sharapova and Azarenka were both the victims of Serena at the Olympics, and have combined three wins against her in 21 matches.
Sharapova rebounded strongly from her Wimbledon disappointment, however, she lost her plot completely once in the final and managed to win just one game in the most lopsided Olympic gold medal match.
Azarenka seemed determined to be on the course to win gold, but just like at Wimbledon, it was Serena who stood in her way. Azarenka had a chance to avenge her Wimbledon loss, but went down meekly, winning just three games against Serena.
MARIA KIRILENKO, ANGELIQUE KERBER – GUTSY PERFORMERS
Kirilenko backed up her Wimbledon quarterfinal with the semifinal visit at the Olympics and even though she lost the bronze at the hands of the world No.1 Azarenka , it was a great play form for the Russian, who dismantled the 2011 Wimbledon champion Kvitova in the quarterfinals.
Kerber was coming off her first Wimbledon semifinal and she made the most out of it, reaching the Olympic quarterfinals where she lost to the world No.1. Kerber defeated five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in the third round of the Olympics.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, JULIA GOERGES – ENCOURAGING PERFORMANCE
After her disappointing first-round Wimbledon loss, Wozniacki made it to the Olympic quarterfinals, bowing out to the eventual gold medalist, Serena Williams. Although she got bageled in the first set of the loss, the quarterfinal appearance was a sign of good things to come.
Goerges showed heart and great fighting spirit in drowning the recent Wimbledon finalist in the first round, and even though she lost in the third round to Kirilenko, it was an encouraging performance from the German.
PETRA KVITOVA, AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA – DISAPPOINTING PERFORMERS
Petra Kvitova fought bravely in her Wimbledon quarterfinal loss at the hands of Serena Williams, but disappointed in her quarterfinal loss at Olympics at the hands of Kirilenko. Kvitova is one of the few players who can match Serena in every department, but she has been unable to realize her potential so far this year. A quarterfinal showing is good, but not for a player of Kvitova’s caliber.
It ain’t Wimbledon, you knew it, when Radwanska lost in the first round to Goerges. Radwanska was the flag bearer of her country, and was coming off a great tennis display at Wimbledon. She could not have asked for a better preparation for the Olympics, but she went down in three sets in the first round, a disappointing result from the world No.2. She was the only member of the Top 4 not to reach the semifinals.
In the end, one last word for four-time major champion Kim Clijsters, who is set to retire after this year’s US Open. It was a disappointing performance from the Belgian. She went down meekly in the fourth round at Wimbledon at the hands of Kerber, and this time she went down to Sharapova in the quarterfinals in straight sets. Olympic medal was one of her main goals when she returned from retirement in 2009, but she will have to do without an Olympic medal in her résumé.
What are your thoughts on the performance of the players?