Williamses capture gold

BEIJING — BEIJING - Venus and Serena Williams of the United States won the gold yesterday, beating Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginia Ruano Pascual of Spain, 6-2, 6-0.

The Williams sisters failed to medal in singles but found considerable consolation in doubles, improving their lifetime Olympic record as a team to 10-0. They won the doubles gold at Sydney but didn't play in Athens four years ago because Serena was hurt.


"It does mean more for me to win it with Serena, to share this kind of moment with your sister," Venus said. "I mean, we are practically joined at the hip."

Already assured of the No. 1 ranking, Rafael Nadal was No. 1 at the Olympics. He won a gold medal yesterday, 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 for Spain in Olympic tennis and another milestone in an astounding summer surge by Nadal, who will officially end Roger Federer's 4 1/2 -year reign atop the rankings today. Nadal has won 38 of his past 39 matches, including victories over Federer in the finals at the French Open and Wimbledon.

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.

Yan Zi and Zheng Jie of China beat Ukraine's Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko for the women's doubles bronze, 6-2, 6-2.

Russia swept the medals in women's singles when Vera Zvonareva beat Li Na of China, 6-0, 7-5, to win the bronze. That victory made Russia the first nation to win all three medals in one tennis event since Great Britain did so in the 1908 women's singles.

* Basketball: Only two teams survived pool play in the women's tournament undefeated - the United States and Australia. The U.S. closed out the preliminaries with a 96-60 win over New Zealand. Tina Thompson scored 15 points. In other games, Australia beat Russia, 75-55; Spain defeated Mali, 79-47; South Korea edged Latvia, 72-68; Brazil beat Belarus, 68-53; and China defeated the Czech Republic, 79-63. In the quarterfinals, starting tomorrow, the U.S. plays South Korea.

* Beach volleyball: The U.S. dropped its first team from competition when Nicole Branagh and Elaine Youngs lost to Xue Chen and Zhang Xi of China, 21-17, 21-13. U.S. teammates and medal favorites Keri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor moved on to tomorrow's semifinals by defeating Larissa Franca and Ana Paula Conelly of Brazil, 21-18, 21-15.

* Boxing: It was one out of two for the U.S. team. Deontay Wilder advanced to the semifinals in the heavyweight division with a tiebreaker win over Mohammed Arjaoui of Morocco. Demetrius Andrade, the U.S. welterweight hope, lost to Kim Jungjoo of South Korea, 11-9.

* Equestrian: After round one of team show jumping in Hong Kong, the U.S. was tied with Switzerland, just ahead of Sweden. In the individual jumper contest, McLain Ward of the U.S. and Eric Lamaze of Canada are atop the standings.


* Fencing: The seventh-seeded U.S. men's saber team earned a silver medal. First it upset second seed Hungary in the quarterfinals, 45-44, and then eliminated third seed Russia on the final touch, 45-44, to make the gold-medal match. But top seed France was too much, winning 45-37.

* Rowing: The U.S. picked up a gold and a bronze on the last day of competition. The women's eight went wire-to-wire in its win over the Netherlands and Romania. The men's eight picked up the bronze behind Canada and Britain.

* Sailing: Zach Railey of the U.S. won a silver medal in the Finn class. He navigated stormy seas to finish fifth in the eighth and final race, but he was second in the overall standings. Ben Ainslie of Britain got the gold, and Guillaume Florent of France won the bronze.

* Softball: It's not much of a surprise when a U.S. pitcher throws a no-hitter or perfect game. So, Monica Abbott's perfect-game 8-0 win over the Netherlands will likely go unnoticed. The U.S. is sitting atop the pool-play standings (6-0) ready for the medal round to start. The next game is today against China. In other games, Taiwan beat China, 2-1; Japan topped Venezuela, 5-2; and Australia shut out Canada, 4-0.

* Volleyball: The U.S. women's team finished pool play with a 4-1 record after beating Poland, 18-25, 25-12, 19-25, 25-19, 15-13. Cuba was the only team in Pool A with a better record. In the other bracket, Brazil is also undefeated. The U.S. now plays Italy in the quarterfinals tomorrow. In other games, Cuba beat Venezuela, 3-0; China beat Japan, 3-0; Kazakhstan defeated Algeria, 3-1; Brazil beat Italy, 3-0; and Russia topped Serbia, 3-0.

* Water polo: Literally, pool play is over, and the U.S. women's team is moving into the semifinals. The U.S. is one of four teams finishing with 2-0-1 records. Italy, Hungary and Australia are the others. Yesterday, the Netherlands defeated Italy, 5-3, in a shootout after finishing tied, 8-8. In other games, Russia beat Greece, 12-6, and Australia defeated China, 12-11. The U.S. plays Australia tomorrow.


* Wrestling: The U.S. picked up a bronze in the women's 63-kilogram class when Randi Miller beat Martine Dugrenier of Canada, 1-0, 1-2, 1-1. She came through the repechage round to make the bronze-medal match. Kaori Icho of Japan won the gold, beating Alena Kartashova of Russia. The other bronze winner was Yelena Shalygina of Kazakhstan.