Tennis proved a successful event in the 2012 Summer Games for both the United States Olympic Team and the state of Florida. With so many top players making their home in the tennis-friendly Sunshine State, it was a near-certainty that Florida residents would pick up Olympic hardware. Here is a look at the medals from the London Olympics coming back to Florida.
Serena Williams: With her performance at the 2012 Olympics, the case for the younger Williams being the greatest ladies player of all-time can certainly be made. In addition to 14 Grand Slam singles titles and 13 Grand Slam doubles titles, Serena's Olympic resume is now complete. After capturing doubles gold medals with her sister in 2000 and 2008, Williams dominated the London event to earn her first Olympic gold medal in singles with a convincing 6-0, 6-1 championship victory over Maria Sharapova. Additionally, Serena picked up a 3rd gold medal in doubles through a finals defeat of the Czech Republic squad. With the pair of gold medals, the 30 year-old Palm Beach Gardens resident has accomplished nearly everything in the world of tennis. Williams first moved to the area as a child to attend a tennis academy and remains an involved member of the South Florida community. In addition to several local fashion and design ventures, Serena is a part-owner of the Miami Dolphins.
Venus Williams: Older sister Venus Williams has enjoyed a storied career, despite an inability to top the stunning achievements of Serena. With 9 Grand Slam singles titles of her own, as well as the 13 Grand Slam doubles titles of the Williams sisters, Venus will also be remembered as one of history's greatest players. She did, however, achieve Olympic success first by capturing by the gold medal in both singles and doubles during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. By obtaining gold in doubles play at the London games, Venus now has a total of 4 Olympic golds to match her younger sister. She was upset in the 3rd round of singles play by Germany's Angelique Kerber. With her family, Venus likewise moved to Palm Beach as a child and continues to reside in the area. She too is involved off-court in the fashion industry and even attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.
Maria Sharapova: Competing in women's singles for her native Russia, the stunning Maria Sharapova has long called Florida home. In 2012, she brings back her first Olympic medal, as she earned the silver in London. Despite a thorough defeat by Serena in the finals, the medal adds to an already historic year, in which the 25 year-old completed the career Grand Slam by capturing the French Open. Sharapova now possesses all 4 major championships, as well as 27 WTA singles titles. The photogenic star moved to Bradenton as a child to enroll at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which trained past greats like Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. Known for her loud grunts on the court, Sharapova resides in a $2.6 million home on nearby Longboat Key, a plush island on the Gulf of Mexico.
Bob Bryan & Mike Bryan: Much like the Williams sisters, the Bryan brothers have dominated men's doubles at the Grand Slams for the past decade. Possessing 11 major titles in each of the 4 slams, this set twins actually concentrates on doubles play and their dedication certainly shows through the pair's many accomplishments, including nearly 300 weeks atop the ATP rankings. Bob and Mike Bryan have long represented the United States in Davis Cup competition, but went to London seeking the first Olympic medal of the fruitful partnership. They earned gold at the 2012 games with a finals victory over the French squad, which included top singles player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Additionally, Mike Bryan teamed with doubles specialist Lisa Raymond (a University of Florida alum) for a bronze in Olympic mixed doubles. The 34 year-old Bryan brothers originally come from California, but have long nurtured their games on the courts of Florida. Bob Bryan lives near Miami, while moments-older Mike resides near Tampa.
Yahoo! Sports, London2012.com, atpworldtour.com, everydayceleb.com, imgacademies.com.
More by Jeff Briscoe from Yahoo! Contributor Network:
Jeff Briscoe is a tennis fan and a regular contributor to the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is talking Olympics 2012 on The Sports Train radio show in Southwest Florida.
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- Maria Sharapova
- Maria Sharapova
- 2012 Summer Games
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- Venus Williams