Put an Olympic gold medal in front of the Williams sisters, send them out to play doubles, and they are like kids in a candy store. For the second time...
BEIJING — Put an Olympic gold medal in front of the Williams sisters, send them out to play doubles, and they are like kids in a candy store.
For the second time in two tries, Venus and Serena Williams won the doubles gold, beating a team from Spain on Sunday at the Olympic tennis complex. They did the same thing eight years ago in Sydney.
Sunday’s final was 6-2, 6-0 over Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual. Both matches took about an hour. Neither was dripping with drama.
Among the highlights were the Spanish fans, who were determined to have fun, even if their team wasn’t. While Ruano Pascual was being attended to for a pulled hamstring, a group of about 20 of them left their seats, circled the stadium along the first deck in a singing conga line and had a grand old time.
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“We thought it was cool,” Serena Williams said. “They were having so much fun, we thought we should join them.”
The victory by the Williams sisters made it five of six for U.S. women since tennis rejoined the Olympics in Seoul in 1988.
Sunday’s victory allowed the Williams sisters a well-deserved moment of mutual admiration.
Of playing with Serena, Venus said, “It never grows old. I was literally born with a doubles partner. She never minds if I miss a shot or two.”
Nadal wins gold
As Rafael Nadal stood in front of the medal podium Sunday, his nation’s flag draped across his back like a cape, he looked a little like a Spanish Superman.
In tennis, he is.
Already assured of the No. 1 ranking, Nadal was No. 1 at the Olympics. He won gold Sunday, overcoming two set points in the second set and holding every service game to beat Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-3, 7-6 (2), 6-3.
The gold medal was the first ever for Spain in Olympic tennis, and another milestone in an astounding summer surge by Nadal, who will officially end Roger Federer’s 4 ½-year reign atop the rankings Monday. Nadal has won 38 of his past 39 matches, including victories over Federer in the finals at the French Open and Wimbledon.
“Nowhere in my best dreams I can imagine something like what I did this year,” Nadal said. “I know how difficult it is to win these things, and especially here, because you only have one chance every four years.”
Elena Dementieva earned the gold in women’s singles, taking advantage of 17 double-faults by fellow Russian Dinara Safina to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.