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Nadal, Dementieva, Williams sisters golden at Olympics

Beijing, China (Sports Network) - Rafael Nadal, Elena Dementieva, and the sisters of Serena and Venus Williams all won gold on Sunday, the final day of the tennis competition at the Olympics.

The second-seeded Nadal picked up a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 win over Chilean Fernando Gonzalez.

Dementieva rallied from a set down to beat fellow Russian Dinara Safina, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, taking advantage of 17 double faults by her opponent, as Safina had her 15-match winning streak broken.

The Williams sisters captured the gold in women's doubles, topping the Spanish team of Virginia Ruano Pascual and Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-2, 6-0. The American duo won 11 of the last 12 games in the match.

As for Nadal, it was stirring end to a long week of tennis for the Spaniard, who will overtake Swiss Roger Federer as the world No.1 on Monday. He has been ranked second in the world for the last three-plus years.

This year, Nadal won his fourth straight French Open crown and his first Wimbledon trophy, and on Sunday earned Spain's first gold medal in tennis.

"Not in my best dreams could I have imagined this," said Nadal. "It's very special just to compete here. I've had an incredible experience with all my countrymen. I have to thank everyone that has been here with me the last two weeks."

Nadal, who has eight titles this year and has lost just once in his last 39 matches, used several good passing shots to keep Gonzalez on his heels.

Gonzalez won his third Olympic medal to go with his bronze in singles four years ago and a gold in doubles in 2004.

It's the second singles medal for Dementieva at the Olympics. She won a silver in 2000.

Having reached the final six times over his last seven tournaments, Safina was aiming for a third successive title on the professional tour

Russia made it a clean sweep of the women's singles medals as Vera Zvonareva downed China's Li Na, 6-0, 7-5 in 70 minutes. The country became the first NOC to win all three medals in any discipline of an Olympic tennis event since Great Britain did so by sweeping the 1908 indoor events in London.

Winners of the doubles title at Wimbledon, the Williams sisters also won gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. American teams have won the women's doubles gold medal in five of the six Olympics since tennis rejoined the program. Both sisters were sent packing in singles play in the quarterfinals.

"To be honest it does mean more for me to win it with Serena, to share this kind of moment with your sister," said Venus. "I mean we are practically joined at the hip, it's really unexplainable. I have chill bumps."

It was the second silver medal in women's doubles for Ruano Pascual.

The Chinese pair of Yan Zi and Zheng Jie beat Ukrainian sisters Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, 6-2, 6-2 for the bronze.

The Olympics not only was viewed as a chance to win medals, but also an opportunity for a tune-up leading to the final major of the year, the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 25.

"I don't even want to think about it," said Dementieva of the upcoming tournament. "I want to enjoy my gold medal that I've been working so hard to get. This just means so much to me."

08/17 09:15:08 ET


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