Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Olympic Green Tennis Center, Beijing Olympic Green, Beijing
Date Started: August 12, 2008
Date Finished: August 17, 2008
Format: Single-elimination tournament.
The best doubles team in the world was the Williams’ sisters – Venus and Serena. They had won this gold medal in 2000 but could not defend it in 2004 due to injuries sustained by Serena. In 2008 they had finished 1-2 at Wimbledon and were heavily favored to win this event. However, they did not play all that often so were only seeded #2, behind Russia’s [Svetlana Kuznetsova] and Dinara Safina. The Russian duo went out somewhat early, however, in a long three-set match in the quarters, losing to China’s Yan Zi / Zheng Jie, 6-3, 5-7, 10-8.
The Williams survived a scare in the semi-finals when they were pushed to three sets by the Ukrainian sister team of Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko, but winning the third set easily, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1. This set up a final against Spain’s Anabel Medina and Vivi Ruano, which turned out to be close to a walkover, as the Williams won the gold medal, 6-2, 6-0. They would return in 2012 and win the doubles gold medal for a third time. Yan and Zheng won the bronze medal over the Bondarenko’s, 6-2, 6-2.