LONDON – Serena Williams remains on course for her first Olympic singles gold medal after crushing Danish eighth seed Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-3 in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Serena, a two-time doubles gold medallist with sister Venus, was at her imperious best on Wimbledon’s Court One and the American fourth seed, who faces a semi-final clash with world number one Victoria Azarenka, is now just two victories away from winning gold.
Williams claimed her magnificent 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Vera Zvonareva in the previous round of the Games topped any of her performances en route to her fifth Wimbledon title last month.
Ominously for her rivals, the 30-year-old was just as dominant against former world number one Wozniacki.
“I wasn’t in a rush!” Serena said. “I know I can rally up to a hundred balls if necessary and when you are playing Caroline you have to be ready to do that.
“She is so consistent, she was number one (in the world) for a reason.
“That was not a quick first set to win 6-0; it was 32 minutes, it’s not as if it was 15 minutes. She was playing really tough.”
Serena has made it her goal to become just the second woman after German legend Steffi Graf to have won all four major titles and Olympic singles gold, the “golden slam.”
Azarenka holds no fears for Serena after she fired down 24 aces to beat the Belarusian in the Wimbledon semi-finals last month.
“I love playing Victoria, so it will be fun,” Serena said. “I have nothing to lose, she is world number one.
“That’s what I love, playing when I have nothing to lose so there is no pressure. No matter what happens I am in a medal round now so I’m excited.”
Wozniacki never threatened to end Serena’s dream and the American quickly secured two breaks to take control in the first set.
There was no let-up from Serena, who hit 13 winners to just one from the Dane in the first set, and the pressure proved too much for the rattled Wozniacki, who surrendered the set with a double-fault.
Wozniacki finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth game of the match.
But that just prompted an even more brutal assault from Serena and the 14-time Grand Slam winner quickly broke again before serving out the win.