Williams now has completed the Golden Slam in singles - having won all four grand slam titles and a singles gold medal at the Olympics, and joined Steffi Graf from Germany as the only other woman to win a Golden Slam in singles.
Serena Williams of the US celebrates after winning the women's singles gold medal match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the All England Lawn Tennis Club during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 4, 2012.
When it was over, Williams, who owns 14 major championships as a professional and has earned more prize money than any other female, danced like a 6-year-old in joyous celebration.
She beamed during the medal ceremony like this was the first title she'd ever won. And Williams couldn't keep herself from giggling when the strong winds blew the U.S. flag down to the ground as it was being raised during the ceremony.
"It's a great feeling. I never thought that it would happen to me. Steffi was such an inspiration. Regardless one of us was going to win a Golden Slam today and I wanted it to be me. Growing up watching her, I always liked her. I always thought the one person I wouldn't be mentioned in the same breathe as was Steffi. She's done everything," she said after the match.
Williams needed just a hour or so to finish the gold medal match, a repeat of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships final.
With the victory, the American has won all eight of their encounters since that Wimbledon Championship final, and now has improved their head-to-head to 9-2. Williams dropped just 17 games en route to her gold medal victory at All England Club.
Williams had a much easier time of it this time, claiming the opening set at love in only 30 minutes and then went on to win the second set at 6-1.
Sharapova just won in the fourth game of the second set, and had great trouble in the rest of the games.
Earlier, Belarussian Victoria Azarenka claimed the bronze, with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Sharapova's fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko.
Williams is also still in contention to win the doubles title for a second consecutive time with her sister Venus Williams.
"It would be great if we can do that together. We have to win two matches to get there and I'm trying to calm down because we have a tough match against Russians again - they are a good team so we'll have to see," Williams said.
In the semifinals, the Williams sisters will play third seeds Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova of Russia. If they can overcome the rivlas, their reward will be the final clash against Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic, the fourth seeds, who defeated top seeds Liezel Huber/Lisa Raymond of the United States on Friday.