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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Williams Snuffs Out Dementieva's Fire

SYDNEY, Australia — Venus Williams beat Yelena Dementieva 6-2, 6-4 to capture the women’s singles gold medal Wednesday, while Canadian pair Daniel Nestor and Sebastien Lareau stunned Australian combination Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde to win the men’s doubles title.

The victory over the 18-year-old Dementieva extended Williams’ winning streak to 32 matches.

"I was ready to go out and take it and not just hope somebody gave it to me," said Williams. "I guess I’ve graduated to a different level where I can be like some of the greats."

After completing her latest victory in 58 minutes, Williams waved to the crowd, bowed and twirled happily at the net. Then she borrowed an American flag from the stands and waved it with a big smile.

The 10th-seeded Dementieva, an emerging star who reached the semifinals at the U.S. Open, started well against the second-seeded Williams. The Russian won the first game and had a point to go up 2-1.

Then Williams won 15 of the next 18 points for a 5-1 lead, and she dominated the rest of the way.

"It was difficult to play against her," Dementieva said. "She played very well. She’s very strong."

Williams will try for her second gold when she and sister Serena play in the doubles final Thursday against Kristie Boogert and Miriam Oremans of the Netherlands.

Nestor and Lareau beat the defending Olympic champions 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in two hours, 46 minutes, stunning a sellout crowd that had hoped for a home victory in the Woodies’ final match as a team.

The match ended when Woodbridge, who struggled throughout the match, served two successive double-faults to hand victory to the Canadians.

Nestor and Lareau won Canada’s first gold medal in tennis — and the first major title of their career as a team.

The Canadians had twice lost to the Woodies earlier in the year, but silenced the pro-Australian crowd and robbed the Woodies of a fairy-tale farewell.

"The Olympics has always been a dream for me," said Lareau. "I wanted to be a part of it, and I knew with Daniel I had a good chance of a medal. This is the highlight of my career."

The Australian pair, who won 11 Grand Slam titles, an Olympic title and helped Australia to victory in the Davis Cup, will not play again together.

"It may be silver today, but our partnership was gold," said Woodforde.

Woodbridge, the one with the schoolboy grin, and Woodforde, the left-hander with the flaming red hair, bowed out of tennis with a total of 61 doubles titles, more than any other team in history, including six at Wimbledon.

The bronze medal went to Spanish pair Alex Corretja and Albert Costa, who beat fifth-seeded South African combination David Adams and John-Laffnie de Jager 2-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Dominique Van Roost and Els Callens of Belgium won the bronze in women’s doubles, beating Natasha Zvereva and Olga Barabanschikova of Belarus 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Arnaud Di Pasquale became the first Frenchman to win a tennis medal since 1924 by beating Roger Federer of Switzerland 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (7-9), 6-3 for the men’s singles bronze.

(AP, Reuters)