Locals react with pride to Gardens resident Serena Williams winning her first singles gold medal

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. - Serena Williams golden performance in the women's final was a huge win not only for the U.S., but for local folks as well.

Williams, a Palm Beach County resident, will literally bring the gold medal home to a lot of local excitement.

The tennis star lives and trains in Palm Beach Gardens at the BallenIsles Country Club. And most who live and play tennis there could not be happier for their neighbor.

There was a sense of pride when visiting the country club on Saturday. Residents were rendered almost speechless when describing the feeling of watching Williams win the gold.

Williams took down Maria Sharapova Saturday morning in London. Across the Atlantic, many locals cheered their neighbor as she took the lead - and the gold. 

"I love it. I am so proud of living here and being able to say that she is my neighbor," said Leslie Fagenson, a BallenIsles resident. "And you know just watching her rack up the points."

Others who are involved with tennis operations at BallenIsles said the win by Williams will have a domino effect.

"Somebody of their stature you know in the game with such a long standing history you know it brings a lot to the game," said Frank Swope. "Kids will start playing more, the program pick up not only here but elsewhere locally and of course nationally as well."

The director of marketing at BallenIsles said they are planning something special for both Williams sisters when they return home.

Trish Faulkner, director of tennis, works closely with Williams and said that  she never had seen the tennis star so focused.

Both Williams sisters will play Sunday against a pair from the Czech Republic. They hope to take gold in women's doubles.

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