WIMBLEDON, England » As Serena Williams stood atop the medal podium, her career Golden Slam complete thanks to an Olympic rout, the gusty wind on Centre Court blew the U.S. flag off its pole midway through the national anthem.
Old Glory came to rest in front of the Royal Box.
"It was probably flying to come hug me because the flag was so happy," Williams said.
Williams wore a smile herself after she became only the second woman to achieve a Golden Slam, winning the most lopsided women’s final in Olympic history Saturday by beating Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1.
The victory completed a remarkable run of domination by Williams, who lost only 17 games in six matches en route to her first singles gold medal.
It took the No. 3-seeded Sharapova 45 minutes to win a game, and by then she trailed 6-0, 3-0.
The career Golden Slam was first achieved by Steffi Graf, who did it when she won at the Olympics in 1988 after sweeping all four major titles.
Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus won the bronze by beating No. 14-seeded Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-3, 6-4. Sharapova’s loss allowed Azarenka to retain the No. 1 ranking.
Two hours after Williams completed her Golden Slam, twins Mike and Bob Bryan of the United States achieved the same feat, beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra of France to win the gold in doubles, 6-4, 7-6 (2).